You think UNC's men were hosed by having to play top-seeded Kansas in Kansas City in the NCAA round of 32? Try being the UNC women.
The Tar Heels received the 3rd seed in the Bridgeport region and as a reward for a high seed had to play 6th-seeded Delaware on the Blue Hens' home court in Newark on Tuesday night. Delaware features arguably the country's second-best player (behind Baylor's Brittany Griner) in Elena Delle Donne and had won 25 straight games entering the tourney.
In front of a packed house of Blue Hen faithful that included Delaware's own, Vice President Joe Biden, the Tar Heels opened up a close game with a scoring spurt to stake a 43-35 halftime lead. Carolina led by nine in the second half when post player Waltiea Rolle, who finished the game with 23 points, picked up her 3rd and 4th fouls in short order. UNC then went on a six-minute scoring drought to allow Delaware to climb back into the lead. Carolina point guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, who scored 30 in the opening-round win against Albany, was also saddled with fouls and only scored four points.
Delle Donne scored 33 for the Blue Hens, who made the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.
Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell was agitated about the foul discrepancy in the game, as the Heels were called for 24 fouls, compared to 13 for the Hens. To be completely fair, however, Delaware spent much of the game in a zone which often limits fouling.
UNC finishes the season 29-7 and has a solid foundation with one of the nation's top recruiting classes coming in for next season, so look for the Tar Heels to reload.