No. 2 North Carolina (26-10) held off gritty No. 15 Lipscomb (23-10), 84-66, to advance to the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
The Tar Heels will match up against No. 7 Texas A&M (21-12) in Charlotte on Sunday.
How it happened
North Carolina’s passing was fantastic, and the Tar Heels wore Lipscomb down in the paint before knocking down efficient outside shots.
After Lipscomb opened up a 21-15 lead on lights out shooting, North Carolina jumped on a a 13-2 run to run away from the Bisons. Lipscomb battled back to make it close, but bad attempts from range held the Bisons back from developing a lead, missing nine consecutive 3-point shots.
North Carolina finished the first half on a 12-1 run to take a 43-34 lead at the break. Led by Kenny Williams and Luke Maye, the Tar Heels pulled away in the second half to coast to the win.
What we learned
- North Carolina should led its defenders battle one-on-one on the block. When their guards doubled in the post, it left open men and that’s how Lipscomb got hot from range.
- It’s going to take guys trusting in each other to make a deep run in the tournament. North Carolina did that Friday afternoon, with all five starters finishing the day in double digits.
- Kenny Williams led North Carolina with 18 points.
- North Carolina’s Theo Pinson had a double-double, with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
- Lipscomb started out 3 for 5 from distance and closed the first half just 1 of 12.
- With about 12 minutes remaining in the game, North Carolina had nearly double the turnovers of the Bisons.
- Kenny Cooper led Lipscomb with 14 points.
- Lipscomb shot just 25 percent from 3-point range and 35.9 percent from the field.
- North Carolina finished the afternoon with 51.7 percent shooting from the field and 40.9 percent from 3-point distance.
What’s next for North Carolina
North Carolina will play No. 7 Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday in Charlotte.
Texas A&M eliminated No. 10 Providence on Friday in the first round, 73-69.
North Carolina came into the tournament as the defending national champions.
The post No. 2 North Carolina coasts to NCAA Tournament win over No. 15 Lipscomb appeared first on Diehards.
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