NCAA: North Carolina 86, Kentucky 74

No. 17 Kentucky (25-8) vs. No. 14 North Carolina (27-8)

We will be live from The Pit for tonight’s 9:45 tipoff starting at about 9:30 p.m. Please check back regularly for updates before, during and after the game. I also will be updating throughout on Twitter @jensmith712.

  • UNC’s Lucas has 22 points and leads three Heels in double figures. Dunlap ends her UK career with 23 points.
  • A Lucas three in the right corner might be the dagger. Cats are down 76-70, and UNC has the ball again.
  • UK trails by five points 73-68 with 2:38 left and the Heels have the ball.
  • Cats have cut it to two points three times, but UNC has answered each time and leads 73-67 with 3:22 to play.
  • Mathies has been on the bench in obvious discomfort as UK makes its run. UNC leads 69-65 with 5:30 to go.
  • Don’t write the obit yet. UK has scored eight straight and trails UNC 63-57 with 7:59 to play. Dunlap has six of those points.
  • A mini run got UK to single digits 57-49 with 11:40 to play, but Carolina responded and has a comfortable 61-49 lead with 10:52 left.
  • It’s still a 10-point game with Carolina leading 44-34 with 17:02 to play. We’ll see if the Cats have a run in them, but Heels are playing tough.
  • HALFTIME: North Carolina 40, Kentucky 30: UK doesn’t have a field goal for the final 3:46 of the first half and Carolina used a 14-5 run to grab a 13-point lead with under a minute to go. UK made four of five free throws in the final 1:20 to keep it within range at 10 points.
  • Cats had cut the Heels’ lead to one on a Mathies three-pointer with 3:46 to play, but UNC has scored eight straight again and UK has its largest deficit 34-25.
  • Dunlap’s already made more shots (four) than she did during the OT win over Hampton in the first round. She has eight points and UK trails the Heels 24-20 with 6:06 to play.
  • With 6:41 to play, UNC has scored eight straight and is up 24-18.
  • Cats are still turnover free and are still tied up with UNC 14-14 with 11:53 to go in the first half.
  • At the first media break (14:29 in first half), UK and UNC are tied up 10-10, but the bigger Heels are outrebounding Kentucky 9-3 at present.
  • Less than 10 minutes from tipoff here and it’s odd to see UK warming up against the Tar Heels. The Cats are considerably smaller, almost looks like a high school team getting ready to play a WNBA team.

Notes

  • Tonight’s winner will advance to the Spokane (Wash.) Regional and the round of 16.
  • Fourth-seeded Kentucky is 0-4 all-time versus the fifth-seeded Tar Heels. The two have never met in NCAA Tournament play.
  • Both coaches indicated on Sunday that this game could be a horse race of sorts with both teams going 8-10 deep and liking to get up and down the floor.

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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