Perfect start gives way to frustration as Duke rallies past UNC, which ties season errors high

CHAPEL HILL — A game that started perfectly for Carolina pitching turned into a perfectly frustrating mix of missed opportunities, poor defense and not enough good relief pitching. A No. 15 UNC team that is usually solid on defense — although making some nice plays — tied a season-high with four errors. The slugging Tar Heels, who have 49 home runs in 23 games, failed to go deep for only the fourth time this season.

UNC’s talented junior class will be the core of national contender next season

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Courtney Banghart got the North Carolina job, her first recruiting calls were to the members of the talented junior class that have put the Tar Heels program back in the national spotlight. The core of that group — guard Deja Kelly, wing Kennedy Todd-Williams, forward Alyssa Ustby and center Anya Poole — fell short of its lofty goals with a heartbreaking 71–69 loss to Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Monday afternoon.

Carolina’s battle with Ohio State for Sweet 16 berth draws early start time

No. 20-ranked North Carolina plays on Ohio State’s home court for a berth in the Sweet 16 at 4 p.m. Monday in a game that will air on ESPN. The No. 6-seed Tar Heels’ game against the No. 12-ranked and No. 6-seed Buckeyes (26–7) at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, is the initial second-round NCAA tournament game of the day.

UNC women shrug after NCAA slight, determined to meet challenges ahead

While the loyal Carolina women’s basketball fans were outraged and surprised that the NCAA didn’t make the Tar Heels a host school in the NCAA tournament, the players and the coaching staff shrugged and looked ahead. Juniors Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby admitted at a press conference Friday in Columbus, Ohio, that they were bummed because projections suggested that the No. 20-ranked Tar Heels would be able to play the first two rounds at Carmichael Arena.

Styles, still debating future, wanted to play in NIT, says Coach Davis made decision

Dontrez Styles, who still is deciding whether he’ll return to Carolina next season, said Tuesday that Coach Hubert Davis told the team after the NCAA selection show that the Tar Heels wouldn’t accept an NIT invitation. “It was the coach’s decision,” Styles said during his weekly “Tuesdays with Trez” segment on “The Bryan Hanks Show” on WRNS 960 AM in Kinston.

Left out of NCAA tournament, the season is done for UNC men, Hubert Davis says

After not earning the chance to make another run at the Final Four, North Carolina’s men’s team has declined an opportunity to play in the National Invitation Tournament. “Many factors go into postseason play and we believe now is the time to focus on moving head, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said in a statement released Sunday.

Pitchers fan 18 as Heels’ bullpen dominant, but UNC can’t rally against unbeaten Virginia

CHAPEL HILL —  In Carolina’s first three losses this season, the bullpen wasted good starts. The script flipped for the No. 14 Tar Heels, with the relievers pitching well after a rough night from their starter. Leaving 11 runners on base snuffed UNC’s chances to rally as No. 17 Virginia became the only remaining unbeaten team in the country with a 7–3 victory Friday in the ACC opener for both teams to snap the Heels’ seven-game win streak. Alabama and N.C. State were also unbeaten before losing Friday.