Tar Heels mistake Argentina fans as UNC supporters

LOS ANGELES — Ask fans of either team, and they’ll tell you: Carolina blue and Argentina’s sky blue are very different shades of color. But to the untrained eye — and from far away — it’s easy to see how one can get them mixed up.

Even more so if the ultimate coincidence occurs: If both the Tar Heels and the Albiceleste’s national soccer team happen to be in the same place at the same time.

On Tuesday, as North Carolina arrived at its hotel in Los Angeles in preparation for its Sweet 16 matchup against Alabama, fans decked out in UNC gear appeared to line up to welcome Hubert Davis’ team.

The sea of sky blue and white soon turned out to be a mirage. Sort of. It wasn’t Tar Heel fans, but rather Argentine supporters who were prepared to greet their national team.

The reigning World Cup champions were scheduled to play Costa Rica in a friendly match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night and, in a complete instance of happenstance, both UNC and Argentina had opted to stay at the same hotel.

Even though both the Heels and Argentine fans were confused by the interaction at first, the end result was a positive one.

“They gave me a soccer jersey,” Hubert Davis’ son Micah, who answered a question at Davis’ Wednesday press conference, said. “The photographer for the national team. That meant a lot because, first of all, I didn’t know they were going to be in Los Angeles, so that was a big surprise when he stopped at the hotel. But, yeah, it meant a lot. It was cool.”

On Tuesday night, Argentina went on to beat Costa Rica 3-1 without Lionel Messi, who is away from the team due to an injury.

Come Thursday, North Carolina will be hoping it can replicate the same result as its hotel neighbors and book a ticket to the Elite 8.

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