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Weekend Preview: April 11-13

It's your last chance to get a Kenan Stadium fix until the 2014 season opener, which is over four months away. Spring games have transformed from a nice little intrasquad scrimmage into a true extra home game. This year's event features numerous gameday activities to provide that Kenan-in-the-fall flavor, and it looks like it will be accompanied by terrific weather. (GoHeels.com)

Experts refute claims by Mary Willingham; she rips their report

Three experts hired by UNC to investigate claims of low literacy levels for Tar Heel athletes found no evidence to support those claims, UNC announced Friday. Whether Carolina’s athletes were prepared for a school like UNC, especially in the revenue sports, has been debated since Carolina counselor Mary Willingham said her researched raised serious concerns. (WNCN)

Breaking Down the Buzz: North Carolina

Glamour positions like quarterback and running back get attention in the spring, but on Saturday UNC fans should watch the defense. With Kareem Martin, Tre Boston and Jabari Price gone, the Tar Heels have very recognizable names on the depth chart. But even with the lack of star power, it is possible that the defense could be better in 2014. (CBS Sports)

Outside experts find data set doesn’t support claims about reading levels of student-athletes

Outside experts found no evidence to support public claims about widespread low literacy levels of a group of first-year University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student-athletes who had been screened for possible learning differences or learning disabilities between 2004 and 2012. Since January, those claims were widely reported in news media accounts and via social media. (UNC.edu)

Extra Points: Finding Defensive Identity

Two weeks into spring practice, signs are emerging that the Tar Heels in 2014 could stride toward better upholding their leg of the three-pronged stool. They have two young, aggressive cornerbacks in Brian Walker and Des Lawrence. Darius Lipford has moved to middle linebacker and gives the defense the edge of speed and size they've not had there. (GoHeels.com)

UNC's Littrell takes charge of no-huddle offense

Seth Littrell took the job running North Carolina's offense to play the same fast-paced style that coach Larry Fedora wants. The Tar Heels close offseason drills with Saturday's annual spring game, ending Littrell's first on-field look at the unit he'll lead as UNC's new assistant head coach for offense. (Charlotte Observer)

Even UConn can't beat UNC in hoops TV game

UConn won the NCAA basketball tournament Monday, but the Final Four weekend failed to eclipse an earlier-round loss by the North Carolina Tar Heels in terms of TV interest in Charlotte. Nielsen Media Research estimates 248,710 people watched UConn beat Kentucky on local CBS affiliate WBTV. The Charlotte TV audience consists of 2.8 million people, according to Nielsen. (Charlotte Business Journal)

UNC baseball looking to improve consistency

Coach Mike Fox doesn’t want to go berserk. He knows his team — which featured four freshmen starters Wednesday — is young, but that doesn’t make watching their mistakes any less painful. Fox has encountered unfamiliar territory in his 16th season at the helm of the North Carolina baseball program (19-14, 7-8 ACC). A six-game losing streak. (Daily Tar Heel)

Heels Geared up for Spring Game

As UNC winds down this year's spring football season with Saturday's 3:00 pm Spring Game in Kenan Stadium, the Tar Heels are looking to finish strong and have some fun in front of their loyal fans. (Tar Heel Illustrated)

A look back at this season's superlatives from Tobacco Road

BEST COACHING MOVE: Roy Williams' use of a zone against Duke on Feb. 20. If a snowstorm hadn't postponed the UNC-Duke game scheduled for Feb. 12, maybe this isn't an option. Three days after the postponement, the Blue Devils struggled to score against Maryland's 1-3-1 zone defense. (Fayetteville Observer)

Bucky Brooks: I'm A Tar Heel

I’m a Tar Heel. I’m a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I’m also an African-American athlete who earned five letters with the Tar Heel football and track & field teams from 1989-1994. With our core values and principles shaped by our experiences at Carolina, I refuse to allow others to disregard the hard work of my peers or taint my appreciation for my alma mater. -- Bucky Brooks (UNCLettermen.com)

Dick Vitale's Super Six for 2014-15

5. North Carolina: Yes, the Tar Heels are losing James Michael McAdoo, but Roy Williams has a lot of players returning. Marcus Paige will be one of the premier guards in America. Kennedy Meeks, Nate Britt, Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto and Isaiah Hicks will be back in Carolina blue. Add Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson and the future is bright. (ESPN.com)

Leslie McDonald impresses crowd in Burgaw, Stilman White to speak with Roy Williams

A team of ACC All-Stars played a group of local high school basketball players on Thursday in Burgaw. As expected, it turned out to be a slam-fest with T.J. Warren and Leslie McDonald leading the way. Former Hoggard Viking Stilman White attended the game and said he'll be talking to UNC coach Roy Williams this week about returning to the Tar Heels now that White's Mormon mission is over. (WWAY)

Marquise Williams eyes UNC’s starting quarterback job

Mitch Trubisky gave the media his interpretation of the UNC quarterback competition, suggesting he would’ve started after Bryn Renner’s injury if not for his redshirt. That he doesn’t look up to Marquise Williams. That the job is his. The mention of those words brought about a change in Williams. The Marquise Williams who’s called the competition a friendly one — disappeared. (Daily Tar Heel)

Desmond Lawrence easing into starting corner job

When freshman Desmond Lawrence suffered a knee injury early in training camp last August, most everyone must have figured that he would likely be redshirting the 2013 season. Most everyone, that is, except his head coach. That very afternoon, as Lawrence lay awaiting his immediate future, UNC head coach Larry Fedora called and reassured him that he wouldn't be forgotten. (Tar Heel Illustrated)

Plenty Of Questions Remain For Tar Heels Heading Into Spring Game

The Carolina football team is ready to put on a show for the outside world Saturday in Chapel Hill. The annual Blue & White Spring Game will allow fans to get a glimpse of what is to come when the competition really heats up later in the fall. The Tar Heel offense, by all appearances, seems ‘locked and loaded’. But will the defense be able to answer the bell? (Chapelboro.com)

UNC Spring Practice Observations

Ryan Switzer should have a big year. He has a much better grasp of the offense and should be able to contribute on that side of the ball a lot more. Switzer has been wearing a non-contact orange jersey all spring. He has an injured shoulder. Marquise Williams is confident and seems to have a very good relationship with the team and the offense. You can tell he is leader of this team. (Carolina Blue)

Video: Getting to know Seth Littrell

Find out why Assistant Head Coach for Offense/Tight Ends coach Seth Littrell wanted to be a coach and what brought him to Chapel Hill. View Video...

We Have Our Own Party: Declining Paper Class Inc.’s Invitation

In his response to my essay, Jay Smith extended a spurious invitation to “climb on board the reform bandwagon.” A bandwagon that is going somewhere might have some appeal to me, but the Paper Class Inc. bandwagon seems to be stalled by its lack of integrity and intellectual rigor. No, thanks, we are doing quite well in the Provost’s office. (Coaching the Mind)

Season In Review: Leslie McDonald

Leslie McDonald made a triumphant return to the UNC lineup against Texas, scoring 15 points and nailing four three-pointers in his first game as a senior. His presence provided what Carolina sorely missed in his absence-the legitimate threat of a perimeter shooter to complement Marcus Paige. (GoHeels.com)

Trent Thornton Named To Golden Spikes Midseason List

USA Baseball released its 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country, and North Carolina sophomore right-hander Trent Thornton was among the selections. (GoHeels.com)

Chansky: Irresponsible Motives

What are Mary Willingham’s real motives these days? Is she so deep into it now that she has to keep justifying her original actions, which seemed honorable (if not exactly accurate) at the time? Is she getting off on her new-found fame? Or being used by those trying to bring down the NCAA? Maybe she and Jay Smith are still trying to find a publisher for their tell-all book. (Chapelboro.com)

ACC spring games preview

North Carolina: 3 p.m. on Saturday (ESPN3); One thing to watch: True freshman running back Elijah Hood. The four-star recruit was rated the nation's No. 9 running back in the Class of 2014 by ESPN.com and No. 80 overall in the ESPN 300. The early enrollee has had such a good spring that he could see some immediate playing time, even though the Tar Heels are deep at the position. (ESPN.com)

Heckendorf Talks QBs

The top storyline throughout North Carolina’s spring practice has been the quarterback competition between Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky. The duo has split reps during spring ball, down to the point of alternating days in running with the first team. New quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf provided his perspective ahead of Saturday’s spring game. (Inside Carolina)

Seth Littrell Q&A: Catching up with UNC’s new offensive coordinator

When North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson left to become the coach at Arkansas State, it was clear from the get-go that Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora would look for someone who had a similar offensive philosophy. Enter Seth Littrell, who had spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Indiana. (Sports Illustrated)

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UNC Recruiting News
Chase Jeter Trims List to 6

RB Reggie Gallaspy has the skills colleges covet

Larry Fedora, UNC assistants talk spring recruiting strategies

Malik Newman, Diamond Stone "working on teaming up together in college"

Interview with Joel Berry II

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UNC Twitter Feeds
Keith Heckendorf @CoachHeck_
Continue to be amazed by the strength of Kyle, Jenna, Bryce. Here is their latest journal post. #bstrong http://t.co/wXXNkYhfZG
Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:25 PM

Kevin Hu @kevinjhu
The one and only @CoachFedora stopped by the @dailytarheel office to film the next This is SportsDesk, Coming soon. http://t.co/XJO8ADC9Pq
Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:37 PM

Don Callahan @DonCallahanIC
Emanuel McGirt visited #UNC today RT @Mcgirt7: I've had a good day!
Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:30 PM

GoHeelsTV @GoHeelsTV
Marcus Paige (@marcuspaige5) of #UNCBBall won the Rammy for 'Male Athlete of the Year.' YouTube: http://t.co/d7sgiW9rse
Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:00 PM

Adam Powell @HeelIllustrated
Bug Howard on Elijah Hood: Elijah just knows one speed, and that's full speed. And so when he gets the ball he's full speed. #TarHeels #UNC
Thursday, April 17, 2014 3:57 PM

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Non-UNC-Related Sports News & Notes

Sources: Duke's Rodney Hood to enter NBA draft

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