Friday, March 27, 2009

Heels getting ready

MEMPHIS — After breakfast and a couple of hours of free time, North Carolina began its standard basketball game-day routine with a midday light practice session and shoot-around in a Memphis area high school gym.

The favored Tar Heels (30-4) face Gonzaga (28-5) at approximately 9:57 p.m. Eastern time in a third-round NCAA Tournament game at the FedExForum. The winner will face the survivor of the other South Regional semifinal between Oklahoma (29-5) and Syracuse (28-9). That game will begin at 7:27 p.m. Eastern.

Tonight's winners will play for a Final Four berth on Sunday. Starting time for that game will be announced late tonight or Saturday by CBS-TV.

After the practice, the Tar Heels will return to their team hotel and have an early-afternoon academic study hall with tutors. The pre-game meal will be served in the hotel at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

There were no other team activities scheduled for Friday. Should Carolina win the game and advance to Sunday's round, the players and coaches could have enough free time Saturday to tour the city. Also on the Saturday agenda would be a formal practice period and a 30-minute media interview session. All practices today and later in the weekend are closed to the public and the media.

With Duke's third-round loss to Villanova on Thursday in Boston's East Regional, the Heels are the last ACC team remaining in the post-season mix.

Entering the Friday workout, there was no update on guard Ty Lawson's toe injury. -- Caulton Tudor