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Carolina Opens NCAAs Sunday Vs. Albany
Release: 03/21/2013
NEWARK, Del. --- North Carolina opens the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Sunday when the third-seeded Tar Heels face 14th-seeded Albany at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware at approximately 2:30 p.m. Carolina is 28-6 on the year after finishing second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 14-4 record and advancing to the ACC Tournament final. Albany is 27-3 and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship by virtue of winning the America East tournament. UNC is ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 and No. 18 in the USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll. Albany is unranked.

AT A GLANCE
Records: North Carolina 28-6, Albany 27-3
Rankings: North Carolina is ranked No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the coaches' poll. Albany is unranked.
TV: ESPN2. Pam Ward and Rebecca Lobo have the call. A live broadcast is also available online at WatchESPN.com.
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network, a division of Learfield Communications. Walter Storholt has the call. A link to the live stream can be found at GoHeels.com.
On The Web: GoHeels.com • Twitter: @UNCWBB • @UNCWBBCoach

ALBANY SERIES NOTES
• North Carolina and Albany have never met in women's basketball.

POTENTIAL SECOND ROUND MATCHUPS
• The winner of North Carolina and Albany will face the winner of No. 6 seed Delaware and No. 11 seed West Virginia.
• North Carolina and Delaware have never met in women's basketball. Carolina is 1-0 all-time against West Virginia. The Tar Heels defeated WVU 95-56 on Nov. 17, 1979, in Harrisonburg, Va.

CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• UNC enters the tournament as a No. 3 seed for the fifth time in school history and the first since 2009.
• Carolina won the 1994 NCAA title as a No. 3 seed, defeating the top two seeds in the East Region before advancing to the program's first Final Four.
• Carolina is 16-4 all-time in NCAA first round games, with its last loss coming to Gonzaga in 2010.
• The Tar Heels are 23-21 all-time in NCAA Championship games played away from Chapel Hill.
• Carolina is 39-18 in NCAA Championship play in 19 previous appearances under Sylvia Hatchell.
• UNC has an all-time NCAA record of 41-22 in 23 overall appearances.

QUICK HITS
• Carolina is second in the nation in steals (13.4 spg). The Tar Heels are 11th in points allowed per opponent possession (0.75) and 14th in blocks.
• UNC is 9-6 this season when tied or trailing at halftime after the ACC semifinal win over Maryland on March 9. The Tar Heels were 9-29 in those situations the previous three seasons.
• Carolina is 8-0 in games decided by five points or less and 13-2 in games decided by 10 points or less.
• Head coach Sylvia Hatchell is currently second all-time in career coaching wins with 907. Hatchell now trails only Pat Summitt (1,098) on the all-time list after passing Jody Conradt (900) on Feb. 10.
• Senior Tierra Ruffin-Pratt is averaging a team-best 15.4 points per game this season, good for fifth in the ACC. Entering 2012-13, her career scoring average in 84 games was 6.7 ppg.
• Senior Krista Gross is fifth in the ACC in rebounding with 8.5 rpg. Entering 2012-13, her career rebounding average in 95 games was 4.4 rpg.

TAR HEELS MAKE RUN TO ACC TITLE GAME
Third-seeded North Carolina defeated Boston College and Maryland to earn a spot in the ACC Tournament championship game for the 15th time in the last 20 seasons. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt averaged over 21 points per game in the event - including a career-high 25 in the title game - to earn first-team all-tournament honors. Latifah Coleman, who had a career-high 17 points in an amazing performance in the semifinal win over Maryland, and Waltiea Rolle earned second-team honors.

RUFFIN-PRATT, McDANIEL EARN FIRST-TEAM ALL-ACC HONORS
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Xylina McDaniel were named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team by a vote of the league's head coaches. Ruffin-Pratt was also a first-team selection by the Blue Ribbon Panel, while McDaniel grabbed second-team honors from that group.

Ruffin-Pratt led the Tar Heels in scoring, assists and steals in her final season in Chapel Hill. The Alexandria, Va., native emerged as one of the league's top all-around players, averaging 14.8 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game in leading Carolina to a 26-5 regular season and second place in the final ACC standings.

McDaniel, who was the only freshman named on a first team, registered a double-double in her first collegiate game and was consistently one of the nation's top first-year players in 2012-13. The Columbia, S.C., product averaged 12.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals during the regular season, all tops among the league's freshmen.

Ruffin-Pratt and McDaniel are the first Tar Heels to earn first-team honors since Erlana Larkins and LaToya Pringle were first-team selections in 2008. McDaniel is the first Carolina freshman to earn a first-team nod since Camille Little in 2004.


UNC North Carolina Women's Basketball


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