GREENVILLE, S.C. (KFSM)--Arkansas and North Carolina are no strangers to one another in the NCAA tournament. The squads have met five previous times with the Tar Heels holding a 3-2 advantage. On the other hand, the Razorbacks have never beat a number one seed.
There have been two recent NCAA tournament matchups. In 2008, UNC scored the most points it ever has in the tournament in a blow out win. Two years ago, Marcus Paige led the Heels by Bobby Portis and the Hogs in a high scoring second round affair. A couple current players remember that season ending loss.
"A few of us was on that team, like me, Moses, Manny and Ton, we was on that team. But a few of these guys don't know how it feels to play against a Carolina in the second round of a tournament," junior Trey Thompson said.
"Well we're playing North Carolina so the name kind of says it for itself. They're the best rebounding team in the country, very athletic long shot makers," Dusty Hannahs said.
Arkansas struggled rebounding the ball against Seton Hall in the first round, and now faces a much better rebounding team in UNC. The Tar Heels have grabbed over 50 rebounds nine times this year and pulled at least 20 offensive boards eight times this season.
"From the first day of practice we emphasized that we've gotta do a great job and rebound the basketball as a team. We don't have a natural guy that just goes and the ball finds his hands all the time, like it did with Brice [Johnson]. Me, personally, for 29 years, I've really thought that that was the single most important factor in who wins the games," UNC coach Roy Williams said.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson understands the coming challenge. "It's going to take one of those kind of efforts. You've gotta play almost perfect basketball. And of course they've gotta do some things and not play well. But defensively we've got to keep them off the boards. I think that's going to be big and not let them get easy opportunities at the basket.
#8 Arkansas and #1 North Carolina tip off at 5:10 PM on TNT.