- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2008

Last night at Charlotte (N.C.) Bobcats Arena

This regional is relatively accessible for Louisville and Tennessee fans. But the dominant faction in town (predictably) belongs to North Carolina.

Look everywhere and there are Tar Heels fans. That was especially true of Wednesday’s open practice day and, of course, last night’s game. …

How off-the-radar is Washington State? North Carolina forward Danny Green admitted Wednesday he probably wouldn’t have recognized the Cougars’ logo if someone were walking around campus with it slapped on a shirt or hat. …

Louisville coach Rick Pitino probably has some good memories of Charlotte. His first Final Four team at Kentucky won a regional at the old Charlotte Coliseum in 1993.

That also happened to be the arena Washington State coach Tony Bennett played at with the then Charlotte Hornets.

“I thought when the brackets came out we were going to play in the Hive,” Bennett said. “Then they said that wasn’t there, that was taken care of a year ago.”

Indeed, the old NBA arena in Charlotte was imploded in June. …

One of the amusing moments of watching Sunday’s second-round games was seeing North Carolina coach Roy Williams barking about the slippery logo plastered on the floor at midcourt. No such problems here: The logo is painted onto the court, taking away a significant safety issue.

BY THE NUMBERS

24-1

Record for North Carolina in NCAA tournament games played in its home state. The lone loss was a 72-71 setback against Penn in the second round of the 1979 tournament in Raleigh.

23

Consecutive victories for the ACC’s North Carolina schools in NCAA tournament games in North Carolina. The league’s last defeat was Duke’s 98-87 loss to God Shammgod-led Providence in the 1997 second round.

1

ACC school in this year’s regional finals, the 26th time in the last 28 years the conference has sent at least one school that far in the tournament.

PLAYER OF THE DAY

North Carolina forward Danny Green turned in a typical performance, delivering a jolt of energy in the first half as center Tyler Hansbrough struggled against Washington State. Green, a junior who ranks among the nation”s top sixth men, scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half — including a pair of 3-pointers over a usually stingy Cougars defense — as the Tar Heels built a 14-point lead at the break.

— Patrick Stevens

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