GREENVILLE, S.C. — This is becoming habit. Arkansas and North Carolina will meet in the NCAA Tournament second round for the Razorbacks’ third straight trip to the Big Dance.
The top-seeded Tar Heels go against 8-seed Arkansas at 6:10 p.m. ET in South Carolina. The locale, in theory, would be beneficial to North Carolina. The UNC-Chapel Hill campus is about four hours away. But considering Duke and South Carolina will play in the game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena following Heels-Hogs, those two crowds may lean more for Arkansas’ favor simply because the Razorbacks aren’t Carolina Blue.
Not that the crowd is anything Arkansas or North Carolina (28-7) are even considering. Coaches Mike Anderson and Roy Williams have their crews focused elsewhere. The Razorbacks (26-9) have to figure out how to keep North Carolina off the glass. The Tar Heels need to make the Hogs play a different way.
North Carolina leads all of Division I in rebounding margin. The 13.1 rebounds per game advantage North Carolina has over opponents is almost four more than the second-best team in Division I. Arkansas knows all about that. The Razorbacks were just outrebounded by double-digits against Seton Hall in the first round.
And yet Arkansas won.
A team no one has been able to get a handle on all season might just have another “go figure” game in its arsenal. After all, the Razorbacks were supposed to be cooked after losing three of four in late January/early February. They won three straight after losing to Florida near the end of the year. They left rattled after Kentucky in the SEC Tournament championship game.
Or not. Point is, the Razorbacks are not a team not exactly fond of doing what’s easy. And beating North Carolina won’t be easy.
It will be possible. It will take a magnificent effort and maybe a bit of luck. But it’s possible. With this team, why not?
What time is tip-off?
6:10 p.m. ET
What TV channel is showing the game
You can find the game on TNT or watch a live-stream on NCAA.com.
Who is calling the Arkansas-North Carolina game?
Brian Anderson has the play-by-play while Chris Webber serves as the analyst. Lewis Johnson is the sideline reporter.