By Shawn Harris
Mar. 20, 2017

GREENVILLE, SC.?- Arkansas moving past Seton Hall on a 20 point performance by Guard Jaylen Barford now take on top seed N. Carolina for the right to the sweet 16. 

N.Carolina got of to a quick start in the scoring department back-to-back three point bombs from Forward Justin Jackson, Guard Joel Berry II, and early free throws by Forward Kennedy Meeks the Tarheels are up 8-0. But Arkansas put it out on a put back by Guard Jaylen Barford making 8-2 Tarheels with 17:46 remaining. N.Carolina starts to get going with crisp inside passes and fastbreak buckets forces Arkansas to call a quick timeout going on a 8-4 run giving the Tarheels a 16-6 lead with 12:40 remaining.

Arkansas became calm and begin to play forcing N.Carolina out of element causing them to turn over the rock slicing the lead in half capped off by a triple by Guard Dusty Hannahs Tarheels lead 16-11 with 10:57 remaining. But N.Carolina big man Center Tony Bradley crash the glass scoring 7 points, Tarheels goes on a 9-0 run to lead 25-11 with 8:19 remaining.

With the Hogs speed they couldn't  squeeze the ball inside due to the Tarheels size on the middle With Hicks and Bradley which forcing turnovers into scores for N.Carolina ending with a berry II's three ball increasing their lead to 17 points 30-13 with 5:30 remaining. Arkansas comes back Guard Daryl Macon triples the twine corner pocket and the foul for a four point play now the lead is 30-17 with 5:08 remaining.

With 2:25 to go down ten 32-22 after Daryl Macon made all three free throws, the Hogs was drilling and grilling using their speed in the open court, three range shooting, and showing hustle was able to go on a 16-8 run (11-6 run) to close the first half down 5, 38-33.

Arkansas open the second half the same way they ended the first speed, speed, speed forcing N. Carolina force tough shots and give up the ball but scoring at the same pace going on a 9-6 run finishing it off as Macon feeds the ball to the Forward Moses Kingsley for the dunk pulling the Hogs within a basket 44-42 with 15:56 remaining.

Arkansas finally get their first lead of the game on a bullet pass inside from Macon to Forward Trey Thompson 47-46 with 13:04 remaining. N.Carolina gets within two stopping 17-8 run on a jumper Forward Luke Maye making it 50-48 Hogs with 11:58 remaining.

With the game tied at 50 and11 minutes remaining both teams playing it close with turnovers by N.Carolina and fouls by Arkansas the Tarheels ties the game at 55 on a inside pass to Meeks with 8:55 remaining. But Macon's pull up triple put the Hogs back out in front 58-55 with 8:12 remaining.

N.Carolina answers right back with a trae - ball by Jackson tying the game at 58 with 7:42 remaining. With the shot clock winding down Arkansas Barford knocks down the three ball from way downtown giving the Hogs a 61-58 lead with 6:43 remaining. After Macon scores giving the Hogs a three point lead N.Carolina turns the rock over again Barford put in the reverse scoop shot and Arkansas lead is up to 5 points 65-60 with 3:28 to go.

After free throws by N.Carolina's Berry II keeping them within three points, the Tarheels score again on a two-handed dunk by Forward Isaiah Hicks bringing N.Carolina within one 65-64 with 2:14 to go. N.Carolina up 66-65 after Hicks free throws with 1:44 to go, Meeks scores on a put back shot by Berry II as the shot clock was going down to go up three (8-0 run) 68-65 with :44.3 to go. Arkansas Kennedy missed two big freebies at the line and N.Carolina's Jackson seal the deal with the throw down dunk capping off a 12-0 run. N.Carolina wins 72-65.

Summary: Arkansas: played from behind most of the game. Injuries to both Macon and Barford was a factor. they lost poise and temple of the game late down the stretch with costly turnovers which cause them to lose the game. N.Carolina: play uptempo style in the first half but at times struggled, Ball movement, offensive chances, fastbreak points, and rebounding came in spurts. But they put it together with experience when it counted most for the win. Shows why they're the top seed.