UCLA coach Mick Cronin on UNC matchup: 'You can't play much better than Carolina's paying'
UCLA and North Carolina will meet in the Sweet 16 next week in one of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the weekend.
UCLA coach Mick Cronin told reporters on Saturday that he’s been impressed with how North Carolina has handled its first two opponents in the NCAA Tournament.
“When we went through our walk-through today they were up 25 (on Baylor),” Cronin said, via Saturday Out West. “I was curious who the heck the 1-seed was from what I was watching. They’ve got McDonalds All-Americans and Hubert Davis is one of the great guys in basketball.
“They’re playing well. Beat Baylor, who’s top-5, beat Duke at Duke, beat Marquette by 30. You can’t play much better than Carolina’s playing. They’re shooting the lights out.”
Overall, North Carolina has won 14 of its last 17 games — a stretch that spans back to Jan. 24. That includes wins over Virginia Tech (twice), Duke, Marquette and now Baylor.
Ironically, the Bruins and Tar Heels were supposed to meet earlier this season before COVID-19 issues at UCLA caused the game to be canceled.
Instead these two storied programs will meet with a trip to the Elite Eight — and possibly much more — at stake.
“We were supposed to play in Vegas so now we’re just going to play in Philly with the season on the line,” Cronin said.
North Carolina is 10-3 all-time against the Bruins and has won five straight matchups in this series.
The game is scheduled for Friday, March 25. Tipoff time is to be announced.