After having a tough time getting past the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round, the Phoenix Suns played like the team with the best regular-season record on Monday, with Cameron Johnson playing a big part. Johnson scored a playoff career-high 17 points in 24 minutes off the bench in his best playoff game of the season as the Suns earned a 121–114 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
You can give Caleb Love a blue check even if it isn’t Carolina blue. And you can rest assured that when you see a tweet from the @caleb2love account, you’re reading the words of the Carolina guard who will be back for his junior season.
On a USFL weekend when Coach Larry Fedora’s New Orleans Breakers lost in a battle of unbeaten teams, Anthony Ratliff-Williams and Bug Howard got touchdown receptions in improbable ways. In Houston’s 27–26 loss to the Tampa Bay Bandits, Ratliff-Williams scored on a 57-yard pass play that was one of the wackier sequences you’ll ever see.
Four Tar Heels begin play Monday night in the conference semifinals of the NBA playoffs and while none of them have dealt with injuries, star teammates have missed games to create challenges for their playoff runs. When Danny Green’s Philadelphia 76ers visit the Miami Heat at 7:30 Monday night (TNT) for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series, it will be without Joel Embiid. Reggie Bullock and Theo Pinson’s Dallas Mavericks meet Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns Monday at 10 p.m. in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series after both teams weathered key injuries during the first round.
Kerwin Walton always seemed to be a logical transfer candidate and it appears that his Carolina basketball career may be over. The 6–5 sophomore, who last weekend entered his name into the NBA draft process, has additionally entered the transfer portal. It also gives the Tar Heels an available scholarship and the chance to bring in a transfer who they hope can have the sort of impact Brady Manek had. The stretch-four transferred from Oklahoma for his fifth college season and became a key reason why UNC made the Final Four.
Sam Howell’s interminable wait finally ended at the start of the fifth round on Saturday afternoon when the Washington Commanders made the Carolina quarterback the 144th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and the sixth quarterback selected. The former Redskins may have just got one of the steals of the draft in getting the No. 34 player on the Pro Football Focus big board. A year ago, Howell was considered to be a sure first-round pick. Since 2019, Howell has PFP’s top grade in fourth quarters at 92.4. “God is so faithful,” Howell wrote on Twitter. “So excited for this next chapter. Let’s go to work!”
A Carolina men’s basketball player has reportedly entered the transfer portal but his likely departure won’t open up a scholarship for the program that’s at the 13-scholarship limit. Ryan McAdoo, who turned 23 Saturday, has entered the transfer portal, according to verbalcommits.com, as a graduate transfer. McAdoo was on scholarship for his last two seasons at UNC but, given the program’s scholarship numbers, would likely only be able to return for a fifth college season as a walk-on with 13 other players already on scholarship.
Danny Green, Cameron Johnson and Reggie Bullock all helped their teams win road games Thursday night to win their first-round NBA playoff series in six games, with the latter two now facing off in the next round. Green’s Philadelphia 76ers, the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, advanced to a conference semifinal series against the No. 1-seed Miami Heat, with Game 1 Monday in Miami at 7:30 p.m. (TNT). Johnson’s Phoenix Suns, the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, will meet Bullock’s No. 4-seed Dallas Mavericks in a conference semifinals series. Game 1 is at 10 p.m. Monday in Phoenix (TNT).
Carolina’s Morasha Wiggins, who played only 181 minutes in 21 games during her freshman season, has reportedly entered the transfer portal. The news was first reported Thursday by Em Adler of The Next, then by WBB Blog publisher Raoul. Adler reported that Wiggins’ finalists are Michigan State, Ohio State, DePaul, Georgia Tech, USC, Kentucky at Oklahoma
Coach Hubert Davis has secured two five-star Class of 2023 commitments and is pursuing a third. According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, representatives from Carolina were set to meet with 6–foot–10, 175-pound forward Matas Buzelis on Thursday. He plays for nationally prominent Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Thanks to its Sweet 16 run, Carolina’s women’s basketball team will send a team to the USA Basketball 3X Nationals three-on-three competition next month. Rising juniors Deja Kelly, Kennedy Todd-Williams, Alyssa Ustby and Alexandra Zelaya will make up the UNC team that will complete at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., May 13–15.
An up-and-down season for Coby White and the Chicago Bulls ended Wednesday night with the Milwaukee Bucks finishing off a 4–1 first-round series win. With Chicago missing its starting backcourt of All-Star Zach Lavine (health and safety protocols) and Alex Caruso (concussion protocol), White had his most productive game of the series in Milwaukee’s 116–100 home victory in Game 5.