The Latest: Adebayo gets off to good start in 2nd half

The Latest: Adebayo gets off to good start in 2nd half
Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe (13) shoots against North Carolina guard Joel Berry II (2) in the first half of the South Regional final game in the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

The Latest on the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

6:35 p.m.

Bam Adebayo has scored four of Kentucky’s first six points of the second half, and his two free throws with 17:35 to go gave the Wildcats their first lead at 39-38.

UNC went scoreless over the final 3:26 of the first half and didn’t score in the second until Kennedy Meeks hit two free throws with 17:17 to go to put UNC back up 40-39.

The Tar Heels have gone more than 7 minutes without a basket.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.


6:10 p.m.

Fans booed the officials heavily at the end of an ugly first half at the South Regional final.

Top-seeded North Carolina led Kentucky 38-33 at halftime in a game with no flow as officials called 10 fouls on each team.

Kentucky played without its fabulous freshmen for a big chunk of the half. De’Aaron Fox was limited to 8 minutes after picking up a second foul with 12:23 left, and Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo also had a pair of fouls each. Monk scored only 6 points, while Adebayo has been thoroughly frustrated missing all five of his shots.

The teams combined to miss their final 11 shots of the half with North Carolina going scoreless over the final 3:26.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.


5:55 p.m.

Frustration is starting to show for the Kentucky Wildcats, especially freshman Bam Adebayo.

He has missed his first five shots and has only 1 point. Worse, he picked up his second foul with more than 6 minutes left in the half.

North Carolina is having little trouble. The Tar Heels had a stretch hitting seven of nine shots and have pushed their lead to as much as 9 to lead 31-24 off an 8-4 spurt fueled by 6 points from Justin Jackson.

Malik Monk picked up his second personal with 5 minutes left in first half. He joins Fox and Adebayo with two fouls each.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee


5:35 p.m.

Bad news for North Carolina: Joel Berry II has another ankle injury.

Berry rolled his left ankle when he planted on a drive to the basket with 15:12 left in the first half. He came out of the game before heading to the locker room, though he returned to the bench with 11:15 left.

The junior point guard rolled his right ankle during the first-round win against Texas Southern.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee


5:25 p.m.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are doing their best to get themselves back to the Final Four.

Isaiah Hicks dunked within the first minute to put the top-seeded Tar Heels ahead, and they have yet to trail against Kentucky. The Tar Heels have hit 4 of 6 shots, while Kentucky missed their first three.

Then De’Aaron Fox started shooting. He drove for a layup for the Wildcats’ first bucket, then he hit a 3-pointer. Fox scored a tournament-high 39 points in helping Kentucky down UCLA in the South Regional semifinal on Friday night.

One thing to watch: The Wildcats outrebounded the nation’s best rebounders in beating North Carolina 103-100 in December. The Tar Heels have a 5-2 edge on the boards in the opening minutes and lead 11-7 with 15:44 left.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee


5:10 p.m.

Thanks to the pedigrees of Kentucky and North Carolina, the South Regional final is being called the real national championship game by many fans.

One thing is certain: Never before have a pair of teams combined for as many NCAA Tournament wins as these college basketball powerhouses.

Kentucky and North Carolina rank first and second in tournament berths, games played and victories with a combined 244 tourney wins between them.

Yet these blue bloods that have never competed in a Final Four find themselves once again facing off shy of the national semifinals. This is their fourth regional final against one another. North Carolina leads 2-1 in these games against Kentucky, with the Tar Heels looking to return to the national championship game for a second straight year.

Kentucky is looking for its fifth Final Four berth under coach John Calipari.

The winner will play…