Pence's Quick Thoughts
It's easy to look at UNC's opening round over Mississippi State and go ahead and move them past Butler, but it'd be a mistake. First, remember Mississippi State is a bad, bad team. Second, with youth comes inconsistency. UNC will need to learn how to put two games together and this will be their first attempt at that against a decent Butler team.
The Bulldogs biggest strength is on the boards, they are not a particularly good shooting team nor are they a good free throw shooting team. They don't take many free throws and their opponents do. They managed to get past Marquette on Monday on a last second 3 that was likely all over the highlight shows. The Heels are the better team, but will they give a consistent effort and have production from someone named James Michael McAdoo for the second straight game?
North Carolina is the only ranked team in the Maui Invitational field, and it didn't get much of a challenge from its first-round opponent.
Pesky Butler hopes to make the favorite's path to the championship a bit more difficult.
Coming off a dominant performance, the ninth-ranked Tar Heels face the Bulldogs in the semifinals Tuesday night.
North Carolina (4-0) led by 32 points at halftime and cruised to a 95-49 win over Mississippi State on Monday, holding an overmatched opponent that had only six scholarship players available to 28.3 percent shooting.
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The North Carolina Tar Heels will face the Butler Bulldogs today in their second game of the Maui Invitational Tournament. UNC is coming off an impressive win over Mississippi State in the opener. The Tar Heels won in a rout by 42 in a balanced effort led by the perimeter shooters.
The Heels connected on 15-32 three point attempts and were led by Leslie McDonald and PJ Hairston who combined for 39 points on 14-24 shooting. Butler defeated Marquette in the opening round on a thrilling buzzer beater from beyond the arc. Butler is currently unranked after going to two consecutive national title games. The Bulldogs are 2-1 on the season after defeating Elon and Marquette and falling to Xavier before heading to Maui.
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