The No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels and the No. 4 Butler Bulldogs square off Friday night in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament as each team looks to keep alive their March Madness tournament run.
How They Got Here
The top-seeded Tar Heels cruised through an opening round matchup against No. 16 Texas Southern to move on to the Round of 32 in the South Region, but saw some resistance in their second game against No. 8 Arkansas. The Tar Heels prevailed in what ended up a close game, with a 72-65 victory.
Butler, meanwhile, avoided upset against No. 13 Winthrop in a close, 76-64 victory, to move on to the second round There they saw No. 12 Middle Tennessee, and again advanced in a close game, winning 74-65.
Who to Watch
The Tar Heels are loaded with talent. Whether it's ACC Player of the Year Justin Jackson (18.1 points, 4.7 rebounds), star guard Joel Berry II (14.4 points, 3.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds) or Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks (over 12 points per game each), the Tar Heels have a ton of options offensively. UNC averages 85.1 points per game.
Butler is not quite the scoring juggernaut that UNC is, but the Bulldogs have a solid first option in Kelan Martin, who scores 16.0 points per game and shoots 42.8 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three-point range. Abdrew Chrabascz and Kamar Baldwin each score over 10 points per game.
Key to the Game
Butler has to shoot well from deep to win this game. The Bulldogs shoot 36.9 percent as a team, and have five or six guys who are comfortable from deep. If Butler can get hot from behind the arc, they will have a chance to keep up with UNC. If not, this one could get ugly.
Butler and UNC have never met in the NCAA Tournament.
Here's how to watch the Sweet 16 matchup between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 4 Butler: