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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 (Jonathan Dyer)
(Jonathan Dyer)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Bullpen use is evolving in the Major Leagues and if there is a team that has a chance to utilize one of the "new" nuances, it is the New York Yankees.

I'm not speaking of the best relievers coming into games in the fifth or sixth inning as we saw often during the 2016 postseason. While the Indians' deployment of Andrew Miller demonstrated how effective teams can be when they employ relievers that are not only dominant, but can also last more than one inning in the process, such use throughout the regular season is seen as unrealistic.

The Yankees have two dominant relievers in Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, but each of them should be relegated to one-inning performances for the most part this season. If the club reaches the postseason, they could extend their appearances, but I don't expect it to happen often in the regular season.

Tags: Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Bryan Mitchell, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Tyler Clippard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and his staff are familar with 6-foot-10 big man Brandon Huffman because they recruited his former teammate Rawle Alkins last year at Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy.

"They came over and they saw [Huffman] a little bit then [when they were recruiting Alkins] and that's where the relationship started," Word of God coach Brian Clifton told SNY.tv by phone.

Alkins ultimately chose Arizona, but the Tar Heels jumped into the mix for Huffman -- a native of Alaska whose parents are in the military -- on Thursday by offering him a scholarship during a visit to campus.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Brandon Randolph continues to pile up high-major offers after a strong start on the Nike EYBL circuit.

The 6-foot-6, 175-pound Class of 2017 shooting guard from the PSA Cardinals picked up offers from North Carolina and Oregon on Tuesday.

That came after he added offers last week from Arizona, Villanova, Syracuse, Kansas, Notre Dame and DePaul.

Tags: Brandon Randolph, Cam Reddish, Duke University, recruiting, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- When Tony Bradley committed to the University of North Carolina on Sept. 2, he did so knowing senior big man Brice Johnson was on the way out. 

Johnson's Tar Heels career came to a close via last-second loss to Villanova in the national championship game earlier this month, so now the countdown to Bradley's arrival in Chapel Hill is on.

Replacing Johnson will be no easy task, seeing as how he averaged 17.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, but can Bradley at least make a significant impact?

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Josh Newman
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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

HOUSTON -- Whether or not Roy Williams cuts down the nets here late Monday night, he may already have won this Final Four.

The feisty North Carolina coach, who is seeking to become just the sixth coach to win three NCAA Tournament titles, has been on an absolute roll on the podium when speaking to the media.

Here are a few examples from the last few days.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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North Carolina beat Syracuse 83-66 and will face Villanova in the NCAA championship game on Monday night. (Robert Deutsch)
North Carolina beat Syracuse 83-66 and will face Villanova in the NCAA championship game on Monday night. (Robert Deutsch)

HOUSTON -- North Carolina was the No. 1 team in the nation when the season started -- and they could be No. 1 when it ends.

The Tar Heels advanced to the NCAA championship game on Monday night against Villanova by ending Syracuse's surprise run to the Final Four, 83-66, before 75,505 at NRG Stadium. The title game will tip at 9:19 EST on TBS.

North Carolina (33-6) improved to 3-0 against ACC rival Syracuse on the season.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Roy Williams says he's heading into the Final Four with a touch of laryngitis along with a sinus infection, a head cold and a cut hand from his scissors incident on Sunday night.

Along with all of that, the North Carolina coach knows he will be asked in Houston about the NCAA's investigation into the academic scandal that occurred in the North Carolina athletics program.

The Syracuse-North Carolina national semifinal is already being called the "Academic Fraud semifinal" because of the situations at the two ACC schools.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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 (Dennis Wierzbicki / USA Today Sports)
(Dennis Wierzbicki / USA Today Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- Leave it to an old ball coach like John Thompson to point out the obvious.

Yes, the ACC has two representatives in the Final Four in North Carolina and Syracuse, but the Orange will always and forever be linked to the original Big East Conference.

So it's more than fair to argue that the Big East -- with original members Syracuse and Villanova heading to Houston -- is the true winner of this Final Four.

Tags: Syracuse University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Jairus Hamilton, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from the Concord (N.C.) Cannon School, became the latest sophomore to pick up a scholarship offer from North Carolina.

The offer was reported by Scout.com.

"This offer is testament to how hard Jairus has worked, to the kind of person he is and to his obvious long-term potential," Che Roth, Head Coach at Concord (N.C.) Cannon School, told Scout. "I've said it before, he's a check-all-the-boxes kid and they don't recruit any kids that aren't. It's a testament to Coach [Roy] Williams and his staff, doing their homework and building the relationship early. Certainly Assistant Coach (Steve) Robinson has a done one hell of a job leading the efforts to recruit him. They've put a premium in the class of 2018 and keeping the best talent in the state, which is going to be the best talent in the nation, here in North Carolina."

Tags: Byron Gilliam, Recruiting, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Udoka Azubuike, at left, is still considering North Carolina, Florida State and Kansas. (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Udoka Azubuike, at left, is still considering North Carolina, Florida State and Kansas. (Jon Lopez/Nike)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After postponing his college announcement from last Sunday, Udoka Azubuike still has no timetable on a decision but hopes to announce sooner rather than later.

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound McDonald's All-American big man from Potters House Christian is still working with a list of North Carolina, Florida State and Kansas, with North Carolina working extremely hard.

"They've been coming to me very seriously," Azubuike said of North Carolina on Friday at practice. "Right now they don't have any other big man they are recruiting as much. Roy [Williams] has said I'm the one they are looking for. He emphasizes 'trust' a lot. It's difficult right now deciding a school. Kansas, they have good big man tradition. North Carolina and FSU, the same thing. They are all trying to get a big man who can finish in the paint. So it's difficult choosing between these three. "

Tags: Recruiting, Udoka Azubuike, Zach Smart, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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North Carolina coach Roy Williams got a jump on the Class of 2018 by landing point guard Rechon Black on Friday. (John Rieger / USA Today)
North Carolina coach Roy Williams got a jump on the Class of 2018 by landing point guard Rechon Black on Friday. (John Rieger / USA Today)

North Carolina got a jump on the Class of 2018 on Friday night when they landed a pledge from Rechon "Leaky" Black, a 6-foot-7 point guard from Concord (N.C.).

"I feel like it's the best fit for me and my family," Black told the Charlotte Observer. "(UNC coach) Roy (Williams) said he was going to let me play point guard when I got up there, so I feel like I can do my best up there."

Tags: High School Transfers, Recruiting, St. John's, Thon Maker, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Brice Johnson went off for 39 points and 23 rebounds in North Carolina's win over Florida State. Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports (Phil Sears)
Brice Johnson went off for 39 points and 23 rebounds in North Carolina's win over Florida State. Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports (Phil Sears)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Brice Johnson had career-highs of 39 points and 23 rebounds to lead No. 6 North Carolina to a 106-90 victory over Florida State on Monday night.

It was the first 20-20 game for a Tar Heel since Tyler Zeller had 20 points and 22 rebounds against Ohio in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and the first 30/20 game since Mitch Kupchak in 1976.

Johnson joined a select group of former Tar Heels to go for 30 and 20 in a game. Billy Cunningham had 48 and 25 against Tulane on Dec. 10, 1964 and 40 and 28 against Maryland on Jan. 13, 1964.

Tags: Brice Johnson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Dec 19, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) reaches for the net during the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Barclays Center. North Carolina Tar Heels won 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Dec 19, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) reaches for the net during the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Barclays Center. North Carolina Tar Heels won 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

NEW YORK -- Things weren't looking great for Brice Johnson and North Carolina early on Saturday afternoon.

UCLA jumped to an early 11-point lead and the 6-foot-10 Johnson found himself in coach Roy Williams' dog house on the bench wondering when he might get back on the floor.

"I kinda just said some bad language and coach was pissed off at me and took me out," Johnson said. "Coach put a fire into my butt and when I got back in there, I was ready to go."

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Knox put his name on the radar while playing for the USA U16 team this spring and the high-flying junior forward's stock is still rising after a 27-point, 12-rebound performance in a 66-54 win over Charlotte (Fla) on opening night at the City of Palms Classic.

In the first week of December, North Carolina coach Roy Williams offered the 6-foot-7 junior a scholarship after watching his Tampa Catholic (Fla) team play and then one week later he was offered by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Tags: Recruiting, Sean Moran, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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 (Kelly Kline / Under Armour)
(Kelly Kline / Under Armour)

Some of the biggest names in coaching have passed through the Westtown (Pa.) School in recent days to watch Mohamed Bamba, the 6-foot-11 Class of 2017 big man who also runs with the PSA Cardinals AAU program.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams was in on Tuesday, and UConn coach Kevin Ollie came through on Wednesday. Alabama coach Avery Johnson also called to offer Bamba a scholarship.

Bamba, who now has a 7-foot-8 wingspan according to Scout.com, is also being courted by the likes of Duke, Kentucky and Syracuse. Scout also reported that Georgetown, Harvard, Maryland and Villanova watched Bamba this past weekend in Maryland.

Tags: Mohamed Bamba, Recruiting, University of Connecticut, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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Dec 12, 2015; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Javan Felix reacts against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Texas beat UNC 84-82. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports (Brendan Maloney)
Dec 12, 2015; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Javan Felix reacts against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Texas beat UNC 84-82. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports (Brendan Maloney)

Shaka's team has shocked college basketball.

Thanks to this game-winning jumper from Javan Felix as time expired, Texas stunned No. 3 North Carolina, 84-82, on Saturday at Texas.

Tags: Texas, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK CITY - August 22, 2015: Under Armour Elite 24 game at Pier 2 in Brooklyn New York. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline)
NEW YORK CITY - August 22, 2015: Under Armour Elite 24 game at Pier 2 in Brooklyn New York. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline)

While playing for Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Academy, Rawle Alkins is giving equal time to Tar Heel State schools North Carolina and N.C. State, and hopes to set up some official visits soon.

The 6-foot-5 Brooklyn native is also nursing an injured ankle but is slated to return home to New York for several games next month.

"It's funny down here with college basketball," he wrote in his latest USA Today blog, 'Rawle's Report.' "The fans here are crazy!

Tags: NBA Draft, Rawle Alkins, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Marcus Paige spent the first six games watching from the sideline as his North Carolina teammates had to figure out how to play without their injured floor leader.

His debut Tuesday night made the ninth-ranked Tar Heels look more like the team everyone expected to see.

The senior scored 20 points to help UNC beat No. 2 Maryland 89-81 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, showing no ill effects from the broken bone in his right hand nor rust from the layoff.

Tags: University of Maryland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) looks to the scoreboard near the end of their game against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the second half at McLeod Center. Northern Iowa won 71-67. (Jeffrey Becker)
North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) looks to the scoreboard near the end of their game against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the second half at McLeod Center. Northern Iowa won 71-67. (Jeffrey Becker)

North Carolina is getting their point guard back in time for a big-time game.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said Monday that Marcus Paige would start Tuesday night when the No. 9 Heels host No. 2 Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (ESPN, 9:30 p.m).

"I feel good … I don't have any pain," Paige said of his broken right hand.

Paige fractured the third metacarpal on his right (non-shooting) hand in practice on Nov. 3. The Maryland game will be exactly four weeks from that date.

Paige has received a number of first-team preseason All-America honors and was selected the Co-Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

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Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at the United Center. Kentucky won 74-63. (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at the United Center. Kentucky won 74-63. (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Kentucky is back in a very familiar spot - on top of The Associated Press college basketball poll.

It only took a couple of weeks.

The Wildcats, who were No. 1 every week last season, moved up one spot Monday following North Carolina's loss to Northern Iowa. Kentucky (4-0) beat then-No. 5 Duke in the Champions Classic last week and received 59 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Seventh Woods will be a Tar Heel.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard from the Columbia (S.C.) Hammond School announced for North Carolina on Wednesday, choosing the Tar Heels over home state South Carolina.

"It was a tough decision," Woods told The Post and Courier. "South Carolina was definitely in the picture. I went with my heart."

Tags: Seventh Woods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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 (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)
(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Marcus Paige, the starting point guard for preseason No. 1-ranked North Carolina, fractured the third metacarpal on his right (non-shooting) hand in practice on Tuesday and will miss 3-4 weeks.

Paige has received a number of first-team preseason All-America honors and was selected the Co-Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

The senior from Marion, Iowa, has missed only one game in his first three seasons. He did not play against UAB his freshman season due to a strained left shoulder.

Tags: Marcus Paige, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adam Zagoria
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