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UNC arrives for odd NCAA Tournament experience

The Tar Heels 51st appearance in the event is likely the strangest
Credit: UNC Basketball
Members of the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team arrive for the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said he's never going to use the phrase "it is what it is," after this season.

The Tar Heels have arrived in Indianapolis for an NCAA Tournament unlike any other.

"We haven't seen any pomp and circumstance or anything whatsoever yet," said Williams. "And I don't think we will."

Instead of being spread out across the country, all 68 teams in the field will play in the Indianapolis area.

For UNC, that means a game at Purdue's Mackey Arena against Wisconsin on Friday night.

Even the bus ride provided a break from the monotony. 

"Today we have a tremendous luxury. We're getting on a dadgum bus," said Williams, "we're driving an hour and fifteen minutes to West Lafayette."

Upon arrival, teams had to quarantine in their hotel rooms and not leave their floors.

For Tar Heels senior Garrison Brooks, that meant watching movies. In fact, he watched three Spiderman movies.

Sophomore Armando Bacot said he read a book, and that some players dealt cards on the hotel floor.

Meals were hand delivered until everyone was cleared to meet as a team for dinner and practices.

"The only thing we've been doing is staying in our room and swabbing our nose every six hours," Williams said with a wry smile, still appreciative of the moment. "That's what it feels like. It's been difficult, guys. It hasn't been nearly as much fun."