At half, North Carolina leads Kentucky 38-33

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WKYT) - 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.

At the half, North Carolina leads Kentucky 38-33.

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.

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 Midwest Region champ Oregon in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday.

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