2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Providence

By Gregory Philson

The North Carolina Tar Heels are not that far removed from winning 12 straight games, but they have now lost two in a row heading into the NCAA tournament.

These losses definitely cost coach Roy Williams‘ team a shot at a possible No. 3 seed and now the Tar Heels are in the dreaded position of being a No. 6 seed facing the No. 11 seed Providence Friars in the East region. This seeding match-up is notorious for upsets and one here would not be surprising.

What To Expect

The Friars are riding high having just won the Big East tournament over the Creighton Bluejays. Providence is certainly coming into this game with much more confidence. Guard Bryce Cotton could be a frustrating player for North Carolina to handle after he showed off his speed and scoring ability against Creighton scoring 23 points. He averaged 21.4 points per game this season.

North Carolina almost came back against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the ACC tournament, but ultimately they fell short and exited early. North Carolina has struggled on the glass recently, and an upset could be in the cards if that is not taken care of. Luckily the Tar Heels still have Marcus Paige. The first-team All-ACC guard has not slipped despite the Tar Heels’ slide. He scored 27 points against Pittsburgh.

The NCAA tourney is built for stars, and if Paige can continue to dominate, the Tar Heels have a shot to come out of a region that includes No. 1 seed Virginia and No. 2 seed Villanova.


North Carolina is still a much more athletic team than most of the opponents they could face, and Providence just to does not have enough athleticism and size to upset the Heels. Providence will make North Carolina sweat, but that should be it.

North Carolina 78, Providence 71

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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