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Three guys in stripes real stars for Carolina

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Photographs by J.T. Wampler

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson reacts to a call during a game against North Carolina on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Greenville, S.C.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- In the end the North Carolina Tar Heels dominated in two key areas, rebounding and officiating.

Not sure if they dragged those three referees out of a YMCA game or they have retirement homes in Chapel Hill. It was as if they wanted to protect the No. 1 seed or perhaps help the ACC, which got nine teams in the NCAA Tournament and seven were eliminated the first weekend.

Take nothing away from the Tar Heels, they are a great team, they just weren't greater Sunday night than Arkansas, except at the free-throw line and rebounding.

Both teams played hard-nosed defense but in the end the Tar Heels made 19 of 25 free throws, the Razorbacks 5 of 8.

They were playing the same man-to-man defense, and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville was called for 20 personal fouls, North Carolina 10.

It took a toll on the Razorbacks, who were equally frustrated the last four minutes by the Tar Heels' great defense and the lack of respect shown by the three stooges -- Lamont Simpson (who once worked in the NBA but obviously not anymoe), Bo Boroski (who once was cited for stealing information from a website) and Darron George.

With 4:56 to play Daryl Macon made a steal and a layup to put the Hogs up 63-60 and coming out of timeout George was in the middle of the court chatting with three Tar Heels. Maybe he wanted autographs.

Jaylen Barford, who had an all-ball blocked shot earlier that was called a foul, made it 65-60 and then it was time for Arkansas to go home. There would be no glory for the Hogs, just a memory of the the final minutes when the Tar Heels would make 6 of 7 free throws while the Hogs attempted 2.

North Carolina's defense and the shot clock factored in big against the Razorbacks, too, but by then they were obviously shellshocked at the officials who just stared at them if they said anything.

Enough about those three clowns who should never call another NCAA Tournament game.

The Tar Heels took their knockout shot at the Hogs in the first half, jumping to a 30-13 lead with 5:31 to play in the first half.

Then, suddenly, North Carolina was on its heels.

Macon ignited a 20-8 run with a four-point play and on six consecutive possessions the Razorbacks scored. On half of those there was an assist, which has been an off-and-on problem for the Hogs this season with so many guards having a scoring mentality.

In the run that made it 38-33 at the half, North Carolina Coach Roy Williams never took a timeout.

Arkansas opened the second half with a country mile of grit and determination and took its first lead with 13:04 to play on a Dustin Thomas field goal, the only shot he took all night.

Dusty Hannahs followed that with his second three-pointer -- he only took four three-point shots in 19 minutes -- and North Carolina was looking for answers.

The Hogs opened their biggest lead of the night 65-60, but the Tar Heels went on a 6-0 run, four from the free-throw line, as they regained the lead 66-65 and edged away to advance to Memphis and the Sweet 16.

Arkansas goes home with a 26-10 record, knowing it engaged in a nose-to-nose, toe-to-toe fight with one of the country's best teams.

The Razorbacks had victory in sight, until North Carolina mounted four great defensive stands and three officials got in their way.

Arkansas had more field goals, more three pointers, but the Tar Heels had 45 rebounds and made 18 of 25 free throws, more than three times what the Razorbacks had the chance to make.

Sports on 03/20/2017

Comments

HARRY2016 says...

Very good article. I am so proud of the Hogs. A key call that was not made near the end was an obvious charging call. The best team yesterday is on the way home. Thanks Hogs for a great season. Thanks Wally for your wise observations

Posted 20 March 2017, 8:11 a.m. Suggest removal

JB23 says...

One of Wally's best. Couldn't agree more. We get the shaft when we play elite teams and have for years. What can you do?

Posted 20 March 2017, 8:22 a.m. Suggest removal

MuleriderRob says...

The NCAA should be more concerned about the terrible officiating in this tournament, and less concerned about flags and what bathroom a weirdo uses. And yes, if you are man who thinks you are a woman, or vice versa, you are not dealing with a full deck!

Posted 20 March 2017, 8:33 a.m. Suggest removal

JakePace says...

Lets not blame the officials on losing the game. They certainly didn't help but neither did
getting out rebounded by 10 boards.
I didn't see the officials score a single one of those last 12 points Carolina scored and I
didn't see them miss those last two free throws for us.
"Losers look for someone to blame. Winners fix what needs fixin!"
The Hogs had a pretty good year and we should be proud and hopefully next year we can be a better seed and won't be facing a #1 seed in our second game.
As an Auburn friend recently said to me, "It's time for Spring Football!"
"Love dem Hogs!"

Posted 20 March 2017, 8:37 a.m. Suggest removal

HawginDawgland says...

Proud of the Hogs and I enjoyed the game very much, even in a losing effort. One of the main reasons I enjoyed the game is that Dick Vitale didn't show up. What a pleasure it was to listen to the commentary for this game, commentary that was, for the most part, unbiased.

Posted 20 March 2017, 8:50 a.m. Suggest removal

cliffcarson says...

I agree with Harry2016 and wally. I especially agree with Hannas when asked if he thought he might have been fouled on a drive late in the game and he answered " I got fouled a lot". But when you go to the Box score you will see his Free Throw results for the game was 0-0. And the team as a whole shot 5-8 over the entire game. Three of those attempts and makes came on one play so Arkansas had an opportunity to shoot 5 free throws in the rest of the entire game.

Posted 20 March 2017, 9:08 a.m. Suggest removal

BoudinMan says...

I can understand some of the fans wanted to blame the officials for this loss, but a reporter with the alleged stature of a Wally Hall? It seems bush-league of him to whine about the refs. After all, he is in the Hall of Fame.

Posted 20 March 2017, 9:12 a.m. Suggest removal

gohogs17 says...

Can anyone explain the logic of having Manny Watkins playing more minutes than either Hannahs or Macon. Watkins gets 4 points in 29 minutes and Macon has 19 in 26. And Dusty only played 19 minutes himself. Imagine Kentucky having Fox or Monk not starting just to make their bench points look better. Wouldn't blame Macon for not coming back next year.

Posted 20 March 2017, 9:15 a.m. Suggest removal

odinson says...

Spoken like a true man not playing with a full deck muleheaed... er... rider.

Oh... and hogs17... Hannah was on the bench because the last 7 times he had the ball he had 5 turnovers. Watkins plays because he's the second best defensive player on the team. (After Kingsley) Macon was only on the bench when his leg went bad! But thanks for your opinion.

Boudinman... no one here is dissing the razorbacks heart. But when reaching fouls by NC continually go uncalled while the Hawgs get charging calls over and over is just infuriating. It's Razorbacks v Florida on football all over again. Let people vent... the one Non-call on Berry changed everything and even my NC friends have admitted that. But it was an awesome game. Time to get serious with the diamond Hawgs (men and women).

Posted 20 March 2017, 9:38 a.m. Suggest removal

paulj0714 says...

Proud of the way the Hogs battled, they outplayed Carolina yesterday. You have to score in the last 3 minutes to win the ball game, period. Barford's block from behind, Berry's charge/travel no call and Macon's tipped shot were all extremely frustrating. The Elite, Blue Bloods(Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, etc...) seem to get a lot of no calls a game. Carolina's game is getting to the line, but 25 to 8 and the Hogs only shooting 2 in the 2nd half is ridiculous. Like someone else said, you've got to play your way into a better seed where it's harder to make those "no calls" in the later rounds. Anyway, better year for the Hogs next year. Even if the ADG insists on calling them UAF, even though no one else in the country does. Go Hogs!!

Posted 20 March 2017, 10:04 a.m. Suggest removal

rlk46 says...

Good preaching and you are so right, Wally. The key one they missed - non-call - was the charge near the end, as Harry2016 pointed out. The kid not only was out of control but pushed off with his forearm before passing to a teammate who converted for points. Great effort by the outmanned HOGS; WPS!!!

Posted 20 March 2017, 10:48 a.m. Suggest removal

Greenboat8 says...

The squealers just keep squealing.....it's always the refs. Quit selling Arkansas short. Is Hilary their SID now? Get a coach that can get them where they need to be.

Posted 21 March 2017, 1 a.m. Suggest removal

DerbiRider says...

I guess Greenboat is speaking of Hilary Duff. The presidential candidate spells her name with two l's.

Posted 21 March 2017, 1:12 a.m. Suggest removal

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