CHAPEL HILL — If you are going to battle North Carolina’s baseball team, it’s best to do it before the exam break. The Tar Heels, for the second straight season, have gone from a team unlikely to make the NCAA tournament field before exams to earning high marks with the selection committee. After losing five consecutive ACC series before the break, the Tar Heels defeated Florida State 10–4 on Friday night to clinch their third successive league series and put them in a good position for a postseason berth.
No. 1 UNC rallies by Stony Brook again to earn 13th Final Four berth
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina is back in the women’s lacrosse Final Four but, for the second consecutive season, Stony Brook and its vexing zone defense didn’t make it easy. Just like in last year’s quarterfinals, the undefeated, No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Tar Heels (20–0) had to rally against the Seawolves to keep their season alive. UNC rebounded from the lowest-scoring half of the season (three first-half goals) and used a four-goal second-half run to advance Thursday at Dorrance Field. The Tar Heels’ 8–5 NCAA tournament quarterfinal victory over the No. 7-ranked Seawolves (16–3) was their 33rd consecutive home win.
UNC No. 1 seed in ESPN men’s projection but not top overall seed
The latest sign that expectations for Carolina’s men’s basketball season are going to be sky-high is ESPN’s bracket projection for next season.
Such projections in May are, of course, ridiculous, but Joe Lunardi sees the Tar Heels as the No. 1 seed in the East. Under that scenario, UNC would play in Greensboro for the first two rounds and at Madison Square Garden in New York for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.
Unbeaten UNC has been here before but is in different place
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina women’s lacrosse stars have been here before — undefeated, top-ranked, No. 1 seed and in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. The Tar Heels (18–0) are in the same situation as a year ago, facing Stony Brook at Dorrance Field with a Final Four berth on the line. But five-time All-America attacker Jamie Ortega says that they are in a different place as they prepare to play the No. 8-ranked Seawolves (16–2) at 7:30 Thursday night (ESPNU).
Tar Heels in NBA: Bullock is +44, advances to first conference finals but Johnson’s season ends
For the first time in his career, Reggie Bullock will play in a conference finals series, which means that Cameron Johnson will be denied a second consecutive trip to the Western Conference finals. In one of the most improbable beatdowns in the history of NBA Game 7s, the visiting Dallas Mavericks rolled to a 123–90 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who had the best regular-season record in the league, to win the series 4–3.
Top-ranked UNC dominates Virginia in record-setting NCAA women’s lacrosse victory
CHAPEL HILL — What does domination look like? That was on display as North Carolina’s top-ranked and No. 1-seed women’s lacrosse team overwhelmed No. 15-ranked Virginia in the second round of the NCAA tournament. After falling behind in their last two ACC Tournament games, the unbeaten Tar Heels, who got a first-round bye, took charge early Sunday and left little doubt. Carolina scored the game’s first 13 goals and the last 11, dominating draws early in a 24–2 victory at Dorrance Field behind senior attacker Jamie Ortega’s four goals and five assists. That was the most goals in an NCAA tournament game in program history.
Tar Heels in NBA: Bullock’s career-best playoff game, tough defense help Mavs force Game 7; Green suffers severe knee injury, his 76ers ousted
Danny Green’s season came to a painful end early in the Philadelphia 76ers’ season-ending loss Thursday but Reggie Bullock made sure to extend his Dallas Mavericks’ season with his best career playoff game. After going scoreless on five shots in Tuesday’s 110–80 Dallas Game 5 loss at Phoenix, Bullock collected 19 points, five 3-pointers, seven rebounds and two steals in Thursday’s 113–86 home victory to force a Game 7 on Sunday in Phoenix.
Veteran UNC women’s lacrosse team hungry for Final Four success
North Carolina’s pursuit of the program’s third women’s lacrosse national title begins Sunday with a hungry team intent on getting past the national semifinals. The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Tar Heels, the only undefeated team in the country at 18–0, play at Dorrance Field on Sunday at noon (ESPN+) against the winner of Friday’s 5 p.m. first-round game in Chapel Hill between Virginia (9–9) and Southern Cal (13–4). UNC beat the Cavaliers 17–7 on the road on April 14.
Manek headed to G League Elite Camp
Brady Manek, who was a big reason that North Carolina made a run to the Final Four, is one of 44 NBA Draft prospects who will attend the NBA G League Elite Camp on May 16 and 17 in Chicago. Manek, a 6–0, 230-pound forward, will get the chance to show off his skills in front of NBA and G League scouts, coaches and front-office executives through five-on-five games and strength and agility drills.
Tar Heels in NBA: Hot-shooting Green helps 76ers tie series (can Hubert Davis visit wait?); Bullocks’ Mavs tie series with Johnson’s Suns
Danny Green has found his shooting stroke in the last two games. With his Philadelphia 76ers now tied with the Miami Heat at 2 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series, Green assured Hubert Davis that there’s no reason to rush to get to one of his games this round. Green battled foul trouble but still had 11 points, three 3-pointers, two rebounds, two steals and a block as the Sixers earned a 116–108 Game 4 victory Sunday.