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5 reasons to hop on North Carolina's Final Four bandwagon

So your team was knocked out of the NCAA tournament or maybe it wasn’t in the field of 68 at all. No worries. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Final Four. We’re making the case for you to jump on the bandwagon for each of the four teams left standing. Here’s my pitch for the favorites to win it all, North Carolina… (USA Today)

Williams, Johnson, Paige Pre-Final Four Press Conference Quotes

Q. I spoke with Brad Daugherty this week. If you could confirm that you coached him in peewee basketball, is that correct? Roy Williams: Started in the fourth grade. Let's confirm one thing, too. When I left, he was an eighth grader. He was 5'11", overweight kid, that didn't care very much. Five years later, he was one of the great prospects and great players there was. (ASAP Sports)

Dad Gets To Watch 2 Sons Play in Final Four

Nathaniel Britt is about as happy as a Final Four dad can be. “To me, we’ve already won,” said Britt. “I think they’re doing an outstanding job and I’m very proud of them.” Britt is proud of his son Nate Britt who sports the number zero for the UNC Tar Heels, and Kris Jenkins, the young man he calls his second son who wears number two for Villanova. (WFMY)

Roy Williams’ motivational tools sound familiar to two Tar Heels on 2009 title team

Roy Williams is making the most of a motivational tool this March that sounds pretty familiar to a pair of players who were part of UNC’s 2009 national-championship team. Tyler Zeller, in his fourth NBA season, remembers Williams preaching to the team about the intangibles possessed by the 2005 NCAA title team that the 2009 team would need in order to also win a championship. (Raleigh & Company)

5 X-Factors for UNC-Syracuse Final Four Matchup

All season long, Carolina has looked like a national title contender. The Tar Heels have a Hall of Fame coach, great guard play, fantastic big men, depth, and multiple ways to hurt you offensively. So now, we have the Final Four matchup between two college basketball blue bloods. Here are five X-factors to keep an eye on while you’re watching on Saturday night. (Athlon Sports)

Lucas: The Rule Of Three

No one knows exactly when he first said it. But he most definitely said it. At some point during Dean Smith’s Hall of Fame career, he first uttered the phrase, “It’s hard to beat a good team three times.” That’s remained ingrained in the collective Carolina fan base memory, reinforced by instances during Smith’s legendary tenure. (GoHeels.com)

Memory of mom fuels UNC’s Brice Johnson

There’s a greater force that motivates All-American forward Brice Johnson as he and the Tar Heels prepare for their Final Four matchup with Syracuse on Saturday. As is the case with his more passive off-the-court demeanor, it’s not one often seen in public. It’s the memory of his mother. Renee Johnson died on Oct. 11, 2008 after an 18-month battle with cancer. (Wilmington Star News)

Ranking every NCAA tournament championship team

8. North Carolina Tar Heels, 1957 (32-0): Famed for winning what's reputed to be the greatest NCAA title game of them all, North Carolina became only the second team to go undefeated in the tournament era and win the national championship. In the title game, Frank McGuire's Tar Heels won 54-53 in triple-overtime over Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas. (ESPN.com)

Marcus Paige has helped fuel a Final Four run by letting others come to the forefront

UNC is here precisely because it did not go as Marcus Paige goes. At the most important juncture of his basketball career, the 6' 2" guard is, by some measures, the least important he has been to this program since he was a freshman. In the year of the senior, it could be a formerly budding star—not one at his peak—who is one of the last left standing. (Campus Rush)

Video: Justin Jackson Recaps First Day at Final Four

Houston-area native Justin Jackson recaps the Tar Heels' first day in Houston for the Final Four. View Video...

Video: UNC Football Says "We Got Your Back" Carolina Basketball

The North Carolina football team says "We've got your back" as the Tar Heel basketball team prepares for this weekend's Final Four in Houston, Texas. View Video...

Marcus Paige keeps it poppin’

Marcus Paige has been asked a lot of questions in his four years at UNC — about his prolific second halves, his relationship with Brice Johnson, his previous shooting woes and his recent resurgence. But Thursday, I threw him a curveball during Final Four availability at the NRG Center and asked about popcorn. It’s not completely random, I promise. (NSJ Sports)

Final Four X-Factors that will determine which teams play for the title on Monday

UNC's X-Factor: Joel Berry II's efficiency; I'll bet you thought the biggest difference would be Marcus Paige's three-point shooting. So did I. But here's an odd twist: Paige actually shot better from three in UNC's losses (36.4%) than in its wins (34.2%). As it turns out, the biggest difference was how much production the team got from Paige's backcourtmate. (Campus Rush)

How Much Is Your College-Basketball Team Worth?

As for the Final Four teams, North Carolina ($221.6 million, up 39.8%) leads the pack as the country’s seventh-most valuable team, followed closely by Syracuse ($203.9 million, up 0.5%) in ninth place. Oklahoma ($51.2 million, up 8.3%) and Villanova ($40.4 million, down 12.9%) ranked 39th and 54th, respectively. (Wall Street Journal)

Know Your Final Fours: Part Two

North Carolina opens play in its 19th Final Four Saturday night in Houston. Take a look back at the 18 prior trips that have defined the program's history over the last eight decades. Part two takes you from a wild night in 1991 to a pair of dominant performances that ended with a title in 2009. (GoHeels.com)

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