Rapid Reaction: North Carolina coasts over Saint Peter's to clinch Final Four berth
North Carolina didn’t let the Cinderella story have any oxygen early in the Elite 8 matchup against upstart Saint Peter’s.
The Tar Heels got off to a 9-0 start, which led to a timeout from the Peacocks coach Shaheen Holloway, who typically stays away from quick timeouts.
North Carolina, a No. 8 seed, easily dispatched of America’s favorite underdog story during March Madness with a 69-49 win over 15-seed Saint Peter’s in the East Regional Final in Philadelphia.
After the Tar Heels hit a bit of a scoring drought, they bounced back with a 12-2 over more than 5 minutes late in the first half. The Tar Heels quickly rebounded and coasted to the Final Four and a matchup with arch-rival Duke in what Tar Heels fans hope is the final game for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who led his Blue Devils to the Final Four with the win on Saturday over Arkansas.
It was a near-perfect first half for the Tar Heels, who led by 19 points and shot 41 percent from the field and held the Peacocks to 23 percent, and 1-for-11 from 3-point range.
Armando Bacot had a big game for the Tar Heels with 20 points and 22 rebounds. Brady Manek added 19 points.
“It’s been that kind of night for Saint Peter’s.” pic.twitter.com/Iy8VLUbezY
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 27, 2022
North Carolina will join Duke, Kansas and Villanova in the Final Four in New Orleans. It will be the first time ever that Duke and North Carolina have met in the NCAA Tournament.
The Regional Final was the end of a magical run for Saint Peter’s, which earlier in the NCAA Tournament beat Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue to become the national fan favorite as the best underdog story in years.