West Regional: Key player for North Carolina Tar HeelsKennedy Meeks, who is dealing with a knee injury, remains questionable for Thursday's NCAA tournament matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Staples Center. Meeks (11.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG) is important to this team and Thursday's game. But there is no guarantee that he'll be available. "We don't know anything about Kennedy," Roy Williams said on Wednesday during the pregame news conferences. (ESPN.com)
Wisconsin, UNC match-up a reunion for Midwest friendsGuarding one of your best friends in a pick-up game at the playground is fun. Guarding one of your best friends in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament on national TV, well, that is a whole different level. It was in high school when J.P. Tokoto, from Menomonee Falls, Wisc., and Sam Dekker, from Sheboygan, Wisc., suited up for the AAU program Wisconsin Playground Warriors. (WRAL Sports Fan)
Tale of the Tape: UNC vs WisconsinWisconsin's offensive numbers are incredibly impressive. The Badgers have a highly efficient offense which presently ranks #1 in the country at just a tick under 125. Wisconsin's offensive is so efficient that despite being 346th in tempo, the Badgers manage to score 72.3 ppg. Also of concern for UNC are two numbers that strike at the heart of what UNC needs to do. (Tar Heel Blog)
Backdoor CutsWhen my fellow badgers in the media and I were not asking him questions, Nate Britt had his nose in a notebook. And it wasn't the Tar Heels' playbook, either. I checked. Granted, I didn't understand what was scribbled on those pages. It looked like some complicated math. But it was not Xs and Os on how to beat Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament. (Durham Herald-Sun)
A constant target of Roy Williams' anger, Brice Johnson is used to tough love from his dadRoy Williams will yell at Brice Johnson on Thursday night. Williams realizes this. So does Johnson. So does Johnson’s father, Herman. They all know the drill. Tough dadgum love is how Williams voices his displeasure with Johnson, the second-leading scorer on a North Carolina team that will face Wisconsin in a West Regional semifinal at the Staples Center. (Fayetteville Observer)
Roy Williams has little to say during commercial breaksThere are times during the NCAA tournament when it seems like the flow of the television commercials gets disrupted by actually basketball. North Carolina Coach Roy Williams was asked Wednesday about the unhappiness among fans with the lengthy media timeouts. “You think it’s long for fans, it’s even longer for coaches,” Williams said. “What the heck am I supposed to say for 2 minutes and 25 seconds?” (Los Angeles Times)
Video: Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige Pre-Wisconsin Press ConferenceTar Heels Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige meet with the media prior to North Carolina's NCAA Sweet Sixteen matchup with Wisconsin.
Mavericks guard Raymond Felton stays positive despite difficult seasonThis has been a trying season for Raymond Felton, in more ways than one. It all started Oct. 18 when Felton suffered a sprained left ankle during a preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was the Mavs’ second preseason game, and Felton — in his first season with Dallas — hadn’t yet become accustomed to playing with his new teammates. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
What foul? Wisconsin meticulously trained to avoid unnecessary whistles“According to him,” Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky says with a smile, “we’ve never fouled before.” No coach in the nation has better odds of being right. The No. 1-seeded Badgers are Big Ten champions and among the final 16 teams alive in the NCAA tournament thanks a comprehensively efficient, methodical style. This includes a guiding philosophy on defense: No foul, no harm. (Sports Illustrated)
Video: Roy Williams Pre-Wisconsin Press ConferenceNorth Carolina Coach Roy Williams addresses the media the day before the Tar Heels face Wisconsin the 2015 NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson says he'll play ThursdayDespite being considered a game-time decision for Thursday's Sweet 16 game against North Carolina, Wisconsin point guard Traevon Jackson said he's '100 percent playing,' reports Yahoo Sports. Jackson has not played since Jan. 11 because of a fractured foot, but he was able to participate in limited team possessions during Tuesday's practice. Jackson is the team's fourth-leading scorer at 9.4 points per game. (CBS Sports)
Previewing WisconsinNo. 4 seed North Carolina’s first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2012 features a matchup with West Region top seed Wisconsin on Thursday. Tip-off at the Staples Center is set for 7:47pm ET and will be televised by TBS. Wisconsin enters Thursday’s contest with a 33-3 record. The Badgers won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region. (Inside Carolina)
Roy Williams, Players Wednesday Press Conference QuotesRoy Williams: "We're happy to be here and face a tremendous challenge, needless to say, tomorrow. But we worked out over at Southern Cal this morning, and had a decent workout, and came over here and just tried to get used to the surroundings, and hopefully get better health-wise between now and tomorrow. We don't know anything about Kennedy." (Inside Carolina)
Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions: Wisconsin vs. North CarolinaNorth Carolina will win if...Marcus Paige protects the basketball and makes shots. Wisconsin is known for its defense, but this isn’t one of Ryan’s best defensive teams and Paige is coming off a near perfect showing against Arkansas. He knocked down half of his shots (5-of-10) and posted a sterling 61 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Heels' schizophrenic offense goes as Paige goes. (Athlon Sports)
Kennedy Meeks practices, expects to play vs. WisconsinFour days after spraining his left knee, UNC forward Kennedy Meeks was able to participate fully in Wednesday’s practice in Los Angeles ahead of a Sweet 16 match-up against No. 1 seed Wisconsin. Meeks went through all the drills, but elected to sit out the end-of-practice dunk exhibition. He said that he fully expects to play Thursday and estimates he will be at roughly 95 percent. (WRAL Sports Fan)
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