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Unfinished business for UNC's Marcus Paige

UNC guard Marcus Paige didn't deliver a hard yes to say he'd return for his senior season, but the tenor of his talk after the Tar Heels' loss in the Sweet 16 was a strong endorsement that he's got unfinished business in Chapel Hill. "We've got guys in this locker room that [are] going to realize that if they make improvements, we can be a really special team next year, myself included." (Durham Herald-Sun)

Strong showing for Tar Heels adds to pain of Sweet 16 loss

This one hurt. It was painful to the players, who had executed the plan developed by coach Roy Williams well enough to look like the better team for 30 minutes. And it was perhaps more painful to the coaches, who had drawn a high-level effort out of a group that began the 2014-15 season with Final Four aspirations but played with an inconsistency that prevented it from entering the Tournament with a higher seed. (Fayetteville Observer)

Upset Bid Comes Up Short For North Carolina

UNC played as Wisconsin’s equal for the majority of Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup. The Tar Heels, however, were unable to match the Badgers in the final minutes in their 79-72 loss. Wisconsin entered Thursday’s matchup as the nation’s most efficient team offensively, and that quality was evident in the game’s final minutes as the Badgers scored 14 points over their final eight possessions. (Inside Carolina)

Heels upset bid falls short

Every single possession counted in this one. The Sweet 16 matchup between North Carolina and Wisconsin was not all that fast-paced, which goes against the way the Tar Heels like to win games. So Thursday's NCAA Tournament West regional semifinal in STAPLES Center was a nip-and-tuck tussle. Wisconsin, a No. 1 seed, squeezed out a 79-72 win. The Tar Heels were a No. 4 seed. (Durham Herald-Sun)

Video: Williams, Paige, Jackson Post-Wisconsin Press Conference

Roy Williams, Justin Jackson and Marcus Paige met with the media following North Carolina's 79-72 Sweet Sixteen loss to Wisconsin on Thursday in Los Angeles. View Video...

Lucas: Fuel

Walking into the last Carolina locker room of the season is a miserable feeling. There was Roy Williams, always emotional after the final game, choking up as he tried to talk to his team. It is one of the weirdest dichotomies you will find; bleeding into the room are the sounds of pep bands as two more teams await the opportunity to keep playing. Inside the room, though, it’s all over. (GoHeels.com)

Roy Williams Post-Wisconsin Quotes

Roy Williams: "The bond that you have with your players is the strongest, stronger than anything there is, I think. Even when they're knuckle heads, you still have that bond. Losing Coach Smith was tough. Losing Ted Seagroves my best friend. And when you coach kids, you give them everything you can give them. Today it wasn't enough. But I wouldn't trade my kids for anybody." (ASAP Text)

Recap & Analysis: Wisconsin 79 UNC 72

In many ways, UNC did everything it needed to do against a very good Wisconsin team. The Tar Heels kept the turnovers in check, got great contributions from Justin Jackson and Joel Berry with Brice Johnson producing on the interior. However, issues with defensive rebounding and a rough two minute stretch on the offensive end ultimately doomed the Tar Heels' season. (Tar Heel Blog)

Five observations: Wisconsin beats North Carolina

In the end, Wisconsin was too strong. The Badgers are resilient. Sam Dekker played like a top-20 pick. Guys such as Zak Showalter made key plays. Wisconsin isn't a team. It's a program. It came together in a difficult stretch, relied on its experience and overcame a good North Carolina team that should be proud of its effort. (ESPN.com)

Top-seeded Wisconsin hangs on to beat North Carolina 79-72

Sam Dekker scored a career-high 23 points, Frank Kaminsky added 19 and top-seeded Wisconsin rallied in the final 10 minutes to hold off North Carolina 79-72 Thursday night and advance to the final eight of the NCAA Tournament. Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson scored 15 points each for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-12), who got within one with 4:21 remaining but couldn't retake the lead. (ESPN.com)

Lucas: Rapid Reactions - Wisconsin

The game changed during a two-minute stretch 32 minutes into the game. Nate Britt's free throws gave Carolina a 60-56 lead with 7:09 left. Carolina went zone defensively, and great Wisconsin ball movement patiently probed that zone before finding Frank Kaminsky for a three-pointer that started a 9-0 Badger run. Wisconsin would never trail again on the way to a 79-72 win that ends the Tar Heel season. (GoHeels.com)

Box Score: Wisconsin 79, North Carolina 72

View the complete box score from North Carolina's season-ending loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in Los Angeles: (View Box Score)

Lucas: Rapid Reactions (Halftime Edition)

Solid half of basketball by Carolina to take a 33-31 lead into the break. The Tar Heels turned it over just twice and were able to push the pace just enough to get some easy baskets in transition. Carolina ended the half scoring on six of its final eight possessions. They struggled early to keep Wisconsin off the offensive glass, then cleaned up the box outs for the better part of the half. (GoHeels.com)

Official UNC, Wisconsin accounts adorably battle it out on Twitter before the game

North Carolina and Wisconsin clearly got a bit restless in anticipation of tonight’s NCAA tournament Sweet 16 game. The official Twitter accounts for both schools got competition started early when they got into a very cute Twitter battle that turned into a friendly social media version of “Bring It On.” (Washington Post)

A closer look at Wisconsin and the keys for the Tar Heels

North Carolina is much more comfortable playing at a faster pace, with its 67-65 victory in a 61-possession game against 13th-seeded Harvard and an 87-78 win in a 77-possession contest against fifth-seeded Arkansas showing the contrast. Williams has no illusions of speeding up Wisconsin, which takes better care of the ball than anyone in the country, so the Tar Heels must limit their own turnovers and rebound the Badgers’ misses. (Fayetteville Observer)

Photo: UNC Legend James Worthy Had Breakfast With The Tar Heels This Morning

In preparation for their bout against the Badgers, Roy Williams’ squad had breakfast with one of their program’s all-time greatest players. The Tar Heels met with James Worthy this morning. The three-time NBA champion played in Chapel Hill from 1979-82 before going on to star with the Los Angeles Lakers. (College Spun)

With Meeks hurting, North Carolina needs Johnson to step up

With Kennedy Meeks questionable for tonight's NCAA Tournament game against Wisconsin , North Carolina faces more questions concerning another forward. Will Brice Johnson display the kind of scoring prowess he exhibited during the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament? Or will Johnson, a junior from Orangeburg , S.C. , remain in his current offensive funk? (Winston-Salem Journal)

Sweet 16 awaits Tobacco Road teams

These are precious days in our state. Sweet days. Days to bask in basketball. Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State have all played their way into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Hope is alive and well on Tobacco Road, with tip-offs tonight and Friday. Our state will stop and watch. (Greensboro News & Record)

Sam Perkins: Road to the Final Four

Some teams may be happy to be there, but if you want to win a championship you have to look at the Sweet Sixteen as just another round. When we were playing we wanted to go all the way, so we didn’t think about it as the Sweet Sixteen, we thought about it as a game against Alabama. That’s the mindset you have to have going in. I’m sure the coaches are all saying the same thing. (Sam Perkins Blog)

Tar Heels, Gamecocks Meet Again In Women's Sweet 16

Top-seeded South Carolina earned a conveniently short trip for its NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance. Its opponent - fourth-seeded North Carolina, the lowest seed left in the region - got an even shorter one. The Gamecocks (32-2) and Tar Heels (26-8) meet in the tournament for the second straight year in a Greensboro Region semifinal Friday night. (GoHeels.com)

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