Bubble team, ha. Go Heels!

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The University of North Carolina Tar Heels got to the Sweet 16 in a convincing manner.

They kicked off their start with an impressive win over Marquette, a team ranked just a notch higher.

It was a win that moved them into the second round against No. 1 Baylor.

With just over 10 minutes left in the second half the Heels led the Bears by 25 points.

Baylor, with some help from the referees, staged a courageous comeback and sent the game into overtime.

The Heels, without two of their starters in the lineup, turned on the heat again.

I am not one to whine about referees, but it became obvious a number of calls against the Heels were wrong.

It peaked when they assessed three-point mainstay Brady Manek with a flagrant 2 foul and mandatory ejection from the game.

It looked more like the end of a hatchet job.

But, the Heels got an overtime win, 93-86, and a ticket to the Sweet 16.

Baylor went home ­— surely for some mental anguish.

The Heels were joined in the Sweet 16 by two other ACC winners — Duke and Miami.

The sports world know-it-alls for the last few years have harped continuously about the ACC no longer being the premier conference of collegiate basketball.

Seems to me the ACC and the Big 12 are the only ones who have that bragging right this year.

I see the ACC poised in great position to bring home another national championship.

This column was written before the start of the Sweet 16 play, but early on I give Carolina as good a chance as anyone for winning it all.

The way the Heels were playing against Baylor puts them right in there with any pro team.

Don’t count them out of it until the fat lady sings, because it ain‘t over ‘til it’s over.

Notre Dame almost made it to the Sweet 16, too, losing out to No. 3 seed Texas Tech.

The Heels were scheduled to meet UCLA in the opening round of the Sweet 16. I give UNC the edge.

Hopefully, Manek can put the officiating injustice behind him and move on with his sometimes unreal three-point shooting and constant hustle on the floor.

It is down to the grind now and the physical play is going to get tougher.

Go Heels, go.

I’ll even add go Duke and go Miami.

Keep it in the family as long as possible.

William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at wnh9326@gmail.com.

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