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North Carolina is heading to Houston after dominating Notre Dame

In the first half of the final game of the Eastern Regional NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, both North Carolina and Notre Dame seemed to be playing competitively.  In fact, the score was pretty close.  Notre Dame had 38 points and North Carolina had 43.  It was a good game.  People were wondering aloud if Notre Dame could pull off the impossible and upset the number one team in the country.  After all, Villanova beat Kansas and Syracuse beat Virginia.  If Syracuse was heading to Houston, maybe Notre Dame beating North Carolina was not so far fetched.  Stranger things have happened.  Perhaps another upset was going to take place.

In the second half, things were a bit different.  Momentum had shifted and Notre Dame scored 36 points which game the team a total of 74 but North Carolina scored 45.  The combined total for North Carolina was 88.  People were not surprised to see North Carolina victorious.  In fact, if anything they were surprised Notre Dame had made it as far as they did.  Notre Dame players were tired.  You could see it in their faces.  It’s not that they did not have a will to win, because surely they wanted to win.  Yet, something in their eyes during the second period seemed to hint that they knew they were outmatched.  It was as though they were ready to raise a white flag and say, “We surrender.”

Although North Carolina dominated most of the second half, it’s not as though Notre Dame did not have their shining moments.  Demetrius Jackson scored a total of 26 points.  V.J. Beachem had a total of 18.  Overall, Notre Dame gave it their best shot.  It simply was not good enough.  There is, after all, a reason North Carolina is the number one seed.

Five of Carolina’s players scored in the double digits.  Kennedy Meeks had 10, Brice Johnson had 25, Justin Jackson had 11, Joel Berry II had 11 and Marcus Paige had 13. Even though Notre Dame seemed to stay on point in the first half, Carolina controlled much of the second half and in a sense made it look easy.

North Carolina will face off against Syracuse on April 2, 2016.  The odds in Vegas have opened with Syracuse getting 9 1/2 points.  Something tells me that the Tar Heels might end up racking up a double-digit win.  This team is just that good and it looks as though they are destined to play in the final championship game.


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Michelle has been a sports writer and analyst for many years. Now, as host of Neutral Court, sponsored by In The Zone, Michelle brings a new sports topic to the debate floor with each episode.
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