The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday August 19th

Men's basketball

John Henson has really been stepping it up recently.

Henson keeps Tar Heels' spirits in play

NEW YORK — Just before the tip-off of overtime during North Carolina’s win against Rhode Island on Tuesday, John Henson had to stop.URI’s Will Martell, trying to get an advantage, twitched before the ball was thrown. Henson straightened in joking offense, looking to the crowd as if to ask, “Did that really happen?”

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Larry Drew II continued his postseason heroics by hitting a game-tying layup with 55 seconds left. DTH/ Katherine Vance

Drew II's clutch play vaults UNC into finals

NEW YORK — North Carolina’s point guard wants a little bit of redemption — and in Madison Square Garden, he started to get some. Larry Drew II has been under fire most of this season. He’s denied rumors that he’s transferring and weathered both storms of criticism and 16 losses.

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Dexter Strickland averages 5.6 points per game for UNC in his first season. DTH File/Phong Dinh

Strickland ?nding footing

Everything about freshman Dexter Strickland is precise.The whisker-thin mustache just above his upper lip is always groomed to perfection. That attention to detail extends to his neatly trimmed hairline, where there’s never a strand out of place.

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The last time UNC won the NIT

In 1971, Richard Nixon was president, the United States was involved in a massively unpopular war in Vietnam and on March 27, North Carolina beat Georgia Tech 84-66 to win the National Invitational Tournament.Dean Smith coached a Tar Heel team led by current NBA coach George Karl, Bill Chamberlain and Steve Previs to a regular season ACC championship and an 11-3 conference record.

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Freshman John Henson said UNC’s success in the NIT has been a welcome break from the struggles the team has faced.DTH/Phong Dinh

NIT loosens up Tar Heels

As North Carolina ran out of the locker room to begin a tournament that no Tar Heel aspired to reach, Marcus Ginyard laughed.They were in a gym that hadn’t been used for men’s basketball in 24 years, coming off two straight losses and one loss from the second-most in program history.

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Settling for a different kind of ?nal four

For a traditional basketball powerhouse like North Carolina, March is as much a mainstay as it is a month.But as is sometimes the case with things in all walks of life, the path that unfolds ahead is difficult and unpredictable.

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North Carolina senior forward Deon Thompson has suffered two losses in Madison Square Garden. DTH/ Phong Dinh

Deon Thompson wants NYC redemption

Deon Thompson has played more games in a North Carolina uniform than any player in the history of the program. He’s hit the floor 150 times in his career.He remembers game No. 4, a 82-74 loss to Gonzaga in Madison Square Garden.

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UNC advances to NIT semifinals

The North Carolina men's basketball team upset UAB on the road Tuesday night 60-55 to advance to the semifinals of the NIT in Madison Square Garden.The Tar Heels were led by senior Deon Thompson and freshman John Henson, who each scored 14 points apiece. Thompson added 12 rebounds.With the win, UNC advances to either play Virginia Tech or Rhode Island. 

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Sophomore point guard Larry Drew II and the rest of UNC’s perimeter players have cut down on their turnovers. DTH/Daniel Sircar

Tar Heels clean up offense, prepare for third NIT game

After Larry Drew II’s game-winning layup fell through the basket Saturday, there was a conspicuous absence from the postgame stat sheet.North Carolina was missing its usual allotment of turnovers. With only 11 giveaways on the day, the Tar Heels didn’t let their offense stall. Mississippi State didn’t bury the Tar Heels with a killer run as so many teams have this season.

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Freshman Dexter Strickland scored eight points and two assists off the bench for North Carolina. DTH/Jordan lawrence

Freshmen propel Tar Heels to win

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Trailing 13-2 and steaming mad at his team, North Carolina coach Roy Williams yanked the team’s veterans.Against a hot-shooting Mississippi State team playing on its home floor, Williams sent in freshmen Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald, Travis Wear, John Henson and sophomore Tyler Zeller. Ten minutes later, the Tar Heels had gained the lead.

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Tar Heels stun Mississippi State

Thanks to a Larry Drew II layup with two seconds remaining, No. 4 seed North Carolina stunned No. 1 seed Mississippi State Saturday 76-74 in Starkville, Miss. Junior Will Graves paced the Tar Heels with 17 points, including a banked 3-pointer to propel UNC in the lead with less than one minute remaining.

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UNC leads Mississippi State at half

 STARKVILLE, MISS — North Carolina continues to play well in the NIT, and after 20 minutes of play at Humphrey Stadium, the Tar Heels lead Mississippi State, 36-33.UNC fell behind 13-2 to start the game but responded with an 18-3 run to take a 22-19 lead.

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Senior Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State set the NCAA record for career shot blocks.

UNC prepares to take on Mississippi State in NIT second round

The throwback uniforms and relocation to Carmichael Arena were good for one win, and next up for North Carolina is a stiff road test.The Tar Heels, a No. 4 seed in the NIT, won their tournament opener by beating No. 5 seed William & Mary in the smaller and decidedly more intense Carmichael. UNC even hit 80 points for the first time in 2010.

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Thompson ?nds success in NIT win

When Deon Thompson made a mental error on the first play of the second half, the senior knew exactly where to go. He ran straight up to UNC coach Roy Williams and pleaded, “Don’t kill me.”Williams only said he’d think about it at the time, but after Thompson led UNC to an 80-72 win in the opening game of the NIT, he had nothing but compliments for his big man.

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UNC advances in NIT

William & Mary drilled 16 3-pointers, but North Carolina held off the Tribe 80-72 in the first round of the NIT tournament.The Tar Heels dominated in the paint, as senior Deon Thompson piled up 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Freshman John Henson added nine points and 10 rebounds.

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