Teams: Syracuse Orange (23-13) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (32-6)
Day & Time: Saturday, April 2, 8:49 p.m. EST
Arena: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Line: -9, UNC
Main TV: TBS
Main Announcers: Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson
Syracuse Team Stream: truTV
Syracuse Announcers: Tom Werme, Roosevelt Bouie, Donovan McNabb
North Carolina Blog: Tar Heel Blog
Rivalry: 7-4, UNC
Current Streak: 3, UNC
First Time: You have to go back to 1957 for the first meeting between the two schools. They met in the Elite Eight of the 1957 NCAA Tournament in what was Syracuse's first-ever tournament bid. North Carolina came into the game ranked No. 1. The Orangemen simply didn't have the talent to keep pace and in spite of Vinnie Cohen's 25 points they lost 67-58.
Last Time: The Orange traveled to Chapel Hill for the return bout this season. Though SU proved it could come back to hang with the Heels, it wasn't able to prove that it could defeat them. UNC held on for a 75-70 victory and swept the regular-season series.
Curious Connections: Boeheim & Williams are no strangers to playing one another at this stage. Williams coached Kansas when the Orange won their 2003 National Championship game. #SorryNotSorry
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (40th Year, 989-346), UNC: Roy Williams (13th Year, 364-107)
Last Year: The Heels struggled down the stretch and finished the season 26–12 (11–7) and advanced to the championship game of the ACC Championship Game before losing to Notre Dame. In the NCAA Tournament they held off Harvard in the first game and beat Arkansas in the second game before losing to eventual runner-up Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen.
This Year: North Carolina has been one of the favorites most of the year, opening as the No. 1 team in the nation and finishing in the top five. They finished the regular season 25-6 and ran the table of the ACC Tournament to win the conference championship. A 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament, they've pretty much cruised to get to this point, winning all their games by at least 14.
Last Game: The Heels took it to ACC rival Notre Dame in the Elite Eight for an 88-74 victory to make it to their nineteenth Final Four.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Take your pick. You've got Brice Johnson and his 17.1 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 1.5 BPG. Or you can have Marcus Paige with his 12.3 PPG and 3.6 APG. Or there's even Joel Berry II and his 12.8 PPG and 3.6 APG.
If Syracuse Wins: It will defy all logic, which, if you think about, makes perfect sense for this tournament run.
If Syracuse Loses: It will suck but it won't diminish what the team has been able to do to get here.