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Hubert Davis Brings Out North Carolina’s Toughness on the Garden

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The Bruins can have required an additional helping of spinach against Kentucky center Oscar Tshiebwe, who managed just 8 points but grabbed 16 rebounds and drew seven fouls, and got so little help from his teammates that it conjured up memories of last season’s tournament flameout against St. Peter’s.

It was clear how much the sport meant to the Bruins when Jaylen Clark roared after a late breakaway dunk, when Tyger Campbell spiked the ball when the buzzer sounded and when the Bruins high-fived a pocket of their fans as they bounced off the court.

U.C.L.A.’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., who carried his team with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals, had circled the sport when the schedule got here out, as much for the setting because the opponent.

“Town is amazing,” said Jaquez, who grew up in Camarillo, Calif., but whose only sports memory in a handful of visits to Recent York was watching certainly one of Mariano Rivera’s final games at Yankee Stadium. “Each time I come is at all times an adventure.”

Players from far and near looked as if it would relish the experience.

Just as enthralled was RJ Davis, the North Carolina guard, who grew up north of town in White Plains, N.Y. He won a state championship at Archbishop Stepinac High School, but playoff games were played at Fordham and St. John’s.

“I couldn’t lose in my very own city,” said Davis, who hit 4 clinching free throws in time beyond regulation and a critical 3-pointer amongst his 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. “I’ve loved watching the games here ever since I used to be a child; it’s the mecca.”

The day was not without its moments for one more pair of locals. Ohio State’s Zed Key, a junior forward from Bay Shore, N.Y., hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to place the Buckeyes ahead. And U.C.L.A.’s Mac Etienne, who grew up in Manhattan, played a useful 13 minutes by picking up five rebounds.

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