EAST REGIONAL SEMIFINALS BRENDAN BYRNE ARENA, THE MEADOWLANDS, N.J. NORTH CAROLINA (27-5) vs. EASTERN MICHIGAN (26-6)
* WHEN: Tonight, 7:30, on Ch. 11.
* CAROLINA STRENGTHS: The Tar Heels wear down teams with a deep bench and suffocating defense. Opponents are shooting just 42 percent from the field to Carolina's 51. And Carolina has won the battle of the boards in 24 of 32 games. Their plus-seven rebounding margin is the largest since 1961. Rick Fox leads the team with 17.3 points a game, and Hubert Davis has hit 11 of 19 three-point shots in the last five games.
* EASTERN MICHIGAN STRENGTHS: The Hurons won the Mid-American Conference with defense and balanced scoring. All five starters average in double figures, led by Marcus Kennedy's 20 points a game. They have four seniors starting. Defensively, they average eight steals a game and their opponents are shooting 43 percent.
* SCOUTING REPORT: Eastern Michigan, the Cinderella of the 1991 tournament, will need a near perfect game to stay with Carolina. One place the Hurons match up with the Tar Heels is at point guard. Lorenzo Neely is averaging 2.5 turnovers and 11.9 points for the Hurons. King Rice is averaging just under two turnovers and six points for the Heels. Dean Smith has taken 11 straight Carolina teams to the Sweet 16, but hasn't gone to the Final Four since 1982, when he won it all.