No. 14 North Carolina and No. 17 Texas tend to put lots of emphasis on some of their high-scoring abilities. "We really challenged the guys (defensively)," Texas coach Shaka Smart said. Texas (3-0) is aiming for its first Maui Invitational title in five all-time appearances in the event.
Leaky Black and North Carolina spent last season struggling in late-game situations, fumbling away leads and failing to make a needed play at the most critical of moments. Maybe the 14th-ranked Tar Heels have learned from that. Black had a big driving basket at the 1:02 mark followed by a clinching free throw with 5.5 seconds left Tuesday to help UNC hold off Stanford 67-63, sending the Tar Heels to the championship game of the relocated Maui Invitational.
Playing three games in three days figures to be a great learning experience for teams in the Maui Invitational, and perhaps No. 14 North Carolina is already taking that to extremes. The Tar Heels will see what else they can uncover in the semifinal round of the tournament when they take on Stanford on Tuesday in Asheville, N.C. "Three games in three days, we'll get a chance for a lot of people to play," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said.