By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Howdy and happy Tuesday, Charlotte! Today's Roundup is all about scores and numbers as the University of North Carolina faltered on a 16-point lead to lose the NCAA Tournament against the University of Kansas on Monday, 72-69. We'll share some highlights and give you the latest on the Hornets' late season and Charlotte FC's most recent loss.
Hoping to score some points against what she sees as gentrification, a local gastropub owner is locked in a parking dispute with another Charlotte restauranteur. Medical experts in North Carolina and throughout the United States are seeing low hospitalization rates related to COVID-19, so we'll also share the latest metrics in the Old North State and Mecklenburg County.
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1. Sports reports: UNC undermined by Kansas, Charlotte FC folds to Philly Union, Hornets prepare for play-in tournament
UNC vs. Kansas: The University of North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team attempted to chase their seventh victory in Monday's NCAA Tournament championship, but instead the University of Kansas Jayhawks flew away from New Orleans with their fourth. After making it through their first 20 minutes scoring 40-25 over the 'Hawks, the Heels spent the second half playing catch-up as Kansas went 47-29. The Jayhawks also blew past a 16-point lead for the biggest comeback in the history of March Madness.
UNC guard Caleb Love, who sank a career-ending field goal against Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski in Saturday's semifinal, was a bit less impressive than his most recent outing, but still managed to score 13. Kansas forwards Jalen Wilson and David McCormack led their university with 15 apiece.
Love could have brought the team a victory after he attempted a three with less than a minute on the clock, but failed before McCormack brought the game home with a pair of late-game sinks, per WSOC.
FC vs. Philly: Hot off their first pair of wins, the Charlotte Football Club's most recent game against the Philadelphia Union mirrored the North Carolina team's first three MLS outings as Philly fried Charlotte, 2-0, at Subaru Park on Saturday. The City of Brotherly Love found a quick lead as striker Julián Carranza scored at the four-minute mark ahead of a goal from midfielder Dániel Gazdag at the 42.
Hornets to play-in for playoffs: Currently eyeing the ninth spot in the NBA's Eastern Conference with a 40-38 record, the Charlotte Hornets will likely be facing off against the Brooklyn Nets in the league's playoff-placing play-in tournament. Between now and the competition's April 12 start, Charlotte has four matches remaining, heading down to Miami to face the Heat at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday before observing the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Since the Roundup last heard from the Hornets, the hive has been abuzz with a home loss against the Denver Nuggets, 113-109, on March 28 and a considerable 125-114 win against the Knicks in New York on . The 76ers sucker punched Charlotte in Philadelphia 144-114 on Saturday, when the Hornets welcomed forward Gordon Hayward back from the bench after a 22-game hiatus induced by a twisted ankle versus the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 7, per The Charlotte Observer.
2. Local beef: Charlotte venue owner claims gentrification, racism, unjust arrest amid parking dispute with restaurant
What happened: Citing racism and gentrification, local restauranteur Robbie McNair-Guzman said police unjustly arrested her over an alleged social media threat amid a parking issue with a neighboring business owner. McNair-Guzman, who owns The Good LIfe at Enderly Park event space on Freedom Drive in west Charlotte, first claimed in March that Jim Noble, owner of Noble Smoke and Bossy Beulah's restaurants across Berryhill Road, had put up signage stating that a nearby parking lot was exclusive to his two eateries.
Why it matters: The arrest came after police issued a warrant for McNair-Guzman's apprehension on a charge of communicating a threat on Wednesday. According to WSOC, a screenshot of an Instagram post shows McNair-Guzman asking Freedom House Church pastor Penny Maxwell if she wanted "to have a shoot out" after Maxwell came to Noble's aid on social media. The event venue owner later turned herself in to police, who released her later
Noble, a white man, has repeatedly denied claims that he threatened to tow from the lot due to racism, and in response, Maxwell told The Good Life owner to "knock it off." McNair-Guzman, a Black woman, has since contested that she did not make the gun violence threat.
3. COVID-19 in NC: Hospitalizations decrease in state and throughout US as mortgage help opens to Meck. Co. homeowners
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that hospitals throughout the United States have seen a 32% reduction in COVID-19 inpatients over the past two weeks, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is putting up similar numbers. On March 22, the NCDHHS' hospitalization dashboard reported 587 active patients, a figure that has since decreased by 35% to reach 379 on Tuesday.
Wednesday marks the last time in the foreseeable future that the state health department plans to update its hospitalization data on a daily basis; the next metrics report will come Wednesday, April 13, in line with changes made to the statewide dashboard last week. Figures also show slower spread in Mecklenburg County, which was hovering around a 4% positivity rate on Saturday.
Homeowner help: Mortgage-paying Mecklneburgians who have been struggling to afford housing during the pandemic can now put their names on applications for Mecklenburg County's Mortgage Payment Assistance Program. Available to residents who earn no more than 80% of their area's median income, the initiative uses $1 million of the county's over $154 million in CARES Act contributions, WCNC reported.