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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Final Four Semifinal / Game Report

Arizona 66, North Carolina 58

March 30, 1997|JASON REID

FIRST HALF IN REVIEW

No Final Four jitters for North Carolina's Vince Carter or Arizona's Miles Simon. The standout shooting guards lived up to their big-time reputations: Carter scored 16 points and Simon had 15. Carter thrilled the RCA Dome crowd early with dunks and other assorted high-flying moves during a 12-0 run that helped the Tar Heels take a 15-4 lead with 15:36 left. The Wildcats rallied behind Simon, who was six of eight from the field in the first half. A three-point play by Simon capped an 8-0 run and gave Arizona a 34-31 lead with 55 seconds left. Arizona, for the most part, put the clamps on star Tar Heel forward Antawn Jamison, collapsing around him every time he touched the ball in the post. Jamison had eight points and four rebounds but missed six of nine shots.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING SCORERS: Simon 15, Michael Dickerson 5.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Eugene Edgerson 5, A.J. Bramlett 5.

* OTHER STUFF: Point guard Mike Bibby missed six of seven field-goal attempts but was typically outstanding at getting his teammates good shots. Simon was the only Wildcat to capitalize on Bibby's passing. Arizona's other players made only five of 24 shots (20.8%). . . . Forward Bennett Davison, Arizona's best interior scorer and defender, picked up his third foul at the 9:22 mark and played only eight minutes. . . . Bramlett blocked four shots.

* NORTH CAROLINA'S LEADING SCORERS: Carter 16, Jamison 8.

* NORTH CAROLINA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Serge Zwikker 5, Jamison 4, Ademola Okulaja 4.

* OTHER STUFF: North Carolina's size advantage in the post didn't show up on the scoreboard. In addition to Jamison, Zwikker also wasn't much of a factor. . . . The Tar Heels didn't get much out of their role players, either. Guard Shammond Williams, a three-point specialist, missed four of five shots and Okulaja missed his five attempts.

SECOND HALF IN REVIEW

Too much Bibby and Simon. Bibby rebounded from his opening-half shooting slump to score 17 of his 20 points while making six of 11 shots. He was seven of 18 overall. Simon was as consistent as he was in the first half, and the combination was more than the Tar Heels could handle. Bibby and Simon knocked North Carolina out for good with three successive baskets that gave Arizona a 61-46 lead at the 4:40 mark. Simon, who finished with a game-high 24 points, made a two-point basket and Bibby then made two three-pointers. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels couldn't find the basket. They shot 28.2% in the second half and 31.1% in the game.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING SCORERS: Simon 24, Bibby 20.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bramlett 10, Edgerson 9.

* OTHER STUFF: Davison picked up his fourth foul early in the half and wound up playing only 10 minutes in the game. Edgerson filled in well, rebounding and sticking to Jamison. . . . Dickerson, Arizona's leading scorer at 19.8 points, made only one shot in 10 attempts overall. But given the way Bibby and Simon played, Dickerson could have taken the day off.

* NORTH CAROLINA'S LEADING SCORERS: Carter 21, Jamison 18.

* NORTH CAROLINA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Jamison 11, Okulaja 10.

* OTHER STUFF: Carter didn't have the same impact as in first half and North Carolina got out of its offense in a desperate attempt to rally. Likewise, Jamison, who usually thrives around the basket, watched as the Tar Heels fired three-point shots. . . . Williams was one of 13 from the field, including one of eight from behind the arc. Carter was one of seven from three-point range.

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