Marcus Paige and the Tar Heels will begin NCAA Tournament play tonight.
Marcus Paige and the Tar Heels will begin NCAA Tournament play tonight.
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Tar Heels Face Providence In NCAA Opener Tonight
Release: 03/21/2014
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - North Carolina (23-9, 13-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) is the No. 6 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament East Regional and will face No. 11 seed Providence (23-11, 10-8 BIG EAST) on Friday evening in San Antonio, Texas. The Tar Heels and Friars will tip off at 7:20 p.m. Eastern (6:20 p.m. locally in San Antonio) on Friday night in the AT&T Center.

The winner will advance to Sunday's third round against the winner of the contest between No. 3 seed Iowa State and No. 14 seed North Carolina Central.

TNT will televise the game nationally with Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter) on the call.  Fans can watch live online here.

The contest also will be carried nationally on satellite radio by XM (channel 192) and Sirius (channel 93).  

The winner of Friday's round of 64 game will advance to Sunday's third round against either No. 3 seed Iowa State or No. 14 seed North Carolina Central.  The East Regional will continue next weekend in Madison Square Garden in New York City with the Sweet 16 on Friday, March 28.

Carolina leads the all-time series with Providence,  2-1.  All three meetings came in the 1970s.  UNC beat the Friars in the 1971 NIT on the way to winning the title.  The Tar Heels also lost 61-59 at Providence on Feb. 12, 1978 and beat the Friars 89-55 on Feb. 10, 1979, in Charlotte.  Roy Williams has never faced Providence as a head coach.

The Tar Heels return to the NCAA field this season for the 10th time in 11 years under head coach Williams, who has made 24 NCAA Tournament appearances in 26 seasons as a head coach.  Williams has led Carolina to a 28-7 (.800) record in the NCAA Tournament.

Carolina is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 45th time, second in NCAA history for most appearances by a program.  Kentucky's 53 appearances rank No. 1, followed by Carolina's 45 and UCLA's 44.  UNC has reached 18 Final Fours, the most in NCAA history.

UNC has appeared in 151 NCAA Tournament games. Only Kentucky (157) has played in more.  Carolina has a 109-42 NCAA Tournament record. That is the second-most wins, second-most games and third-highest winning percentage (.722) in NCAA Tournament history.  The Tar Heels have won at least one game in 29 of their last 30 NCAA Tournament appearances (Carolina lost in the first round in 1999 to Weber State).

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