Is North Carolina the best team in America?

It's why North Carolina has played in five of the last six ACC Tournament championship games.

The question was about the confidence in his shot, and how much of that intangible he possesses. That helped, he said - "obviously it helps" to make the first attempt. Louisville will try to pick up the statement road win that has eluded the team in recent seasons against a tough Tar Heels squad.

"I take it from students all of the time".

"Cal you suck", screamed the Missouri student section.

Jackson credited some of the success to "muscle memory", which by definition is doing something with so much repetition that it becomes the expected norm.

"We're North Carolina - we don't have to be like everybody else", North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said. After the Cards pulled to within two, 45-43, on a three from Donovan Mitchell (21 points), the Tar Heels put together their best stretch. UNC also got big games from Kennedy Meeks, who had his second straight double-double, and Joel Berry II, who finished with 19 points on 4-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.

And what about Jackson? "Five-for-11 from 3, that's pretty doggone good".

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Justin Jackson and Joel Berry have both been tremendous for the Heels this season, combining to average 33.6 points and shoot 40.2 percent from beyond the arc, but this could be their most hard matchup of the season.

Johns Hopkins was able to score twice more in the period while the usually potent Tar Heel offense tallied just one goal in the quarter.

This season's ACC champion is nearly certainly assured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Pitt forward Sheldon Jeter especially felt the effects of North Carolina's vaunted rebounding attack, getting his second foul of the game three minutes in and fouling out with just over six minutes left in the game.

"Their niche is rebounding the ball and scoring inside, so we do emphasize it". "I really think we have a long way to go there". "We didn't shoot it great, but we showed the toughness part that we needed to show". Four UNC starters scored double-digit points with Justin Jackson leading the way with 21. It was another strong shooting day in a run of them. The last time the Cardinals visited the Tar Heels, they lost 72-71 but beat the number as three-point road 'dogs, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. He'd made that many 3s in but one game during his first two seasons.

Difficult, yes. But not unmanageable, especially for a core group of players that got plenty of experience at playing big games in quick succession during last year's run to the Final Four.

"In light of what that one fan said, I have found that, in my 40-plus years of coaching, that going into North Carolina, and I've done it many times, they are the classiest fans in the business", Pitino said.

  • Tabitha Byrd