Carolina Hosts UT Martin Sunday In NCAA Tournament
Release: 03/21/2014
CHAPEL HILL - The North Carolina women's basketball team gets its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance started on Sunday by hosting UT Martin on ESPN at Carmichael Arena starting at 3 p.m.

Carolina (24-9) is the fourth seed in the Stanford Region, while the Skyhawks are the 13th seed in the region. UT Martin (24-7) is the regular season and tournament champion of the Ohio Valley Conference.

The first game of the day features 5th-seed Michigan State (22-9) from the Big Ten against 12th-seed Hampton (28-4) from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Tip off is scheduled for 12:40 p.m., on ESPN2.

2014 marks the seventh time that Carolina has been a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but the first appearance as a #4 since 2004. The Tar Heels have been a top-4 seed in 19 of the 25 appearances in the Big Dance.

Carolina, 12th in the AP poll and 13th in the Coaches' poll, is the highest ranked team playing in Chapel Hill this weekend. Michigan State is No. 20 and 24, respectively in both national polls. Hampton received one vote in the USA TODAY Coaches' poll.

UNC owns a 43-23 record in 24 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, including 40-19 in 20 appearances under the guidance of head coach Sylvia Hatchell.

The Tar Heels have made the NCAA Tournament 12 of the last 13 seasons. Carolina has advanced to at least the regional semifinal game in 13 of its last 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently in 2011.

Carolina features a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging 11 or more points per game. Led by National Freshman of the Year Diamond DeShields, the Tar Heels are putting up 80.7 points per game, the 15th best figure in the country.

DeShields, the ACC Rookie of the Year, is averaging 18.0 points per game, followed by classmate Allisha Gray at 14.3 ppg. Sophomore forward Xylina McDaniel is next at 11.8 ppg and freshman Stephanie Mavunga is contributing 11.0 points and a team-leading 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.

Heather Butler, the OVC Player of the Year, leads a potent UT Martin offense that averages nearly 85 points per game. Butler ranks ninth in the country at 23.7 ppg, followed by Jasmine Newsome who sits 50th in the country at 19.4 ppg. The Seahawks' third double-digit scorer is Ashia Jones at 12.9 ppg.

The two winners on Sunday will face off Tuesday night at 7 p.m., with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line and a trip out west to Stanford next week.

UNC North Carolina Women's Basketball

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