North Carolina will play in the "other" final four tonight, meeting Rhode Island in the semifinals of the NIT at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Tar Heels (19-16) are riding a three-game winning streak, in part because of improved play from point guard Larry Drew. Seniors Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard also have been playing with a sense of urgency.
Still Playing: North Carolina vs. Rhode Island in the NIT at Madison Square Garden
The Winston-Salem Journal
North Carolina point guard Larry Drew II has heard the criticism all season long.
He turns the ball over too much. He is not quick enough. He makes poor decisions.
He is not good enough to be a starting point guard at UNC, the reigning national champions.
But no matter what the sophomore has heard, he has not let it shake his confidence.
UNC, Drew finding groove
The Durham Herald-Sun
Confidence grows on its own schedule with the North Carolina men’s basketball team.
For the Tar Heels, it has sprouted up in time to extend the season.
Prolonged season benefits Tar Heels
The Burlington Times-News
North Carolina forward Deon Thompson has heard coach Roy Williams say that he wants his team to keep advancing in the National Invitation Tournament so the seniors can end their careers on a more positive note.
But Thompson, who is one of those seniors, hopes his Tar Heels (19-16) beat Rhode Island (26-9) tonight at Madison Square Garden and advance to Thursday's NIT championship game for another reason:
"I just want this team to finish this season strong," he said recently. "Even though it's the NIT, we're playing for something ... and hopefully, the guys can build off that for the future."
UNC invests in future
The News and Observer
This isn't where Marcus Ginyard expected to end his career when he signed a letter-of-intent with North Carolina five years ago.
He expected to be playing in the Final Four, of course, just not this one.
Tar Heels in new Final Four
The Associated Press
Before the season, University of North Carolina forward John Henson said he dreamed about making the Final Four.
That's the NCAA Final Four.
The Tar Heels (19-16) didn't have the National Invitation Tournament in mind when they sought to defend their 2009 national championship. But UNC, which has weathered its rough season with a youthful, injury-plagued lineup, finds itself in Tuesday night's NIT semifinals against Rhode Island (26-9) at Madison Square Garden.
Former Sickles star Henson helps Heels reach NIT semifinals
The Tampa Tribune
The NIT might be far removed from the NCAA tournament that North Carolina dominated last year, but the Tar Heels showed their coach's competitive fire by advancing to the Final Four that is an afterthought for most fans.
North Carolina, eager to move on from a 16-15 regular season that ended with a humiliating 82-50 drubbing at the hands of archrival Duke, meets Rhode Island Tuesday after Dayton and Mississippi open the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
North Carolina sees NIT as steppingstone to next season
The USA Today
One program collects McDonald’s All-Americans, Hall of Famers and national championships. The other fights for attention in its own back yard, never mind its own conference.
North Carolina is the ultimate basketball blueblood, complete with Michael Jordan as its all-time greatest player. The University of Rhode Island’s biggest basketball name? Ernie Calverley of Pawtucket, the author of the greatest shot in Ram hoop history.
For the Rams, history in the making
The Providence Journal