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North Carolina coach Roy Williams cheers on his team against Villanova on Friday in Kansas City, Mo.
Friday, March 22, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - P.J. Hairston scored 23 points, James Michael McAdoo added 17 and North Carolina unleashed a flurry of 3-pointers to subdue gritty Villanova 78-71 in the NCAA tournament Friday night, giving coach Roy Williams his 700th career victory.
The never-say-die Wildcats (20-14) erased a 20-point deficit that North Carolina built in the first half and then nearly climbed out of a nine-point hole in the final minutes after the Tar Heels hit three consecutive 3s and once again appeared to take control.
The victory set up a possible dream matchup in the third round for Kansas fans, who have been jamming the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, about 30 minutes from the Jayhawks' campus. The eighth-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) take on the winner between Western Kentucky and No. 1 seed Kansas, where Williams coached for 15 years and rang up more than 400 wins.
Picking on a season-long weakness for the ninth-seeded Wildcats, North Carolina shot 11 of 21 from 3-point range while getting outrebounded 37-28.
JayVaughn Pinkston had 20 points and Darrun Hilliard scored 18 for Villanova.
After UNC took a seemingly comfortable 65-56 lead on Hairston's 3-pointer and McAdoo's jumper, Ryan Arcidiacono answered with Villanova's second 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 65-59. But Marcus Paige dropped in a short jumper and put the Tar Heels on top 67-59 before a media timeout with 3:03 to go.
A pair of foul shots by Arcidiacono, James Bell's 3-pointer and Pinkston's two free throws sliced the lead to 67-66. Paige then drilled a 3 and Hairston completed a three-point play a little while later for a 76-68 lead with 42 seconds left.
Paige had 14 points and Bullock added 15 as Williams also extended his NCAA record of consecutive tournament appearances with at least one win to 21.
No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast 78, No. 2 Georgetown 68
PHILADELPHIA - Florida Gulf Coast sure made an entrance at the NCAA tournament.
A school that hasn't even celebrated its first 20-year reunion yet, and is in just its second season of being eligible for Division I postseason, busted a load of brackets with a stunning victory over second-seeded Georgetown in the second round.
The Eagles used a 21-2 run in the second half to pull away from the Hoyas and then held on in the final minute to become the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.
Sherwood Brown scored 24 points and Bernard Thompson had 23 to lead Florida Gulf Coast, the champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference
FGCU (25-10) will play the winner of the game between seventh-seeded San Diego State and No. 10 Oklahoma in the third round on Sunday.
A night after America's oldest university, Harvard, pulled off a major upset over fourth-seeded New Mexico, one of its youngest - FGCU's first student was admitted in 1997 - got one that was even bigger.
The Eagles' big run gave them a 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play. The Hoyas staged a furious rally to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left but the Eagles went 6 of 10 from the free throw line to seal it.
"In the second half, we pushed the ball, we got out, we ran, we made shots, got some alley-oop dunks to energize the crowd. I'm very proud of our players," said coach Andy Enfield, whose wife - supermodel Amanda Marcum - was shown several times on the arena's big screen.
No. 3 Florida 79, No. 14 Northwestern St. 47
AUSTIN, Texas - Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Florida players in double figures and the Gators shut down the NCAA's highest-scoring team, beating Northwestern State in the second round.
No. 3 seed Florida turned this one into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season - 34 below their average.
Patric Young had 16 points and nine rebounds for Florida (27-7). Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 11.
DeQuan Hicks had 12 points for the Demons.
No. 5 VCU 88, No. 12 Akron 42
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - VCU was at its best, pressing, running - and winning with ease.
The fifth-seeded Rams set an NCAA tournament record that stood for about an hour Thursday night, throttling 12th-seeded Akron for the most lopsided victory by a team seeded third or lower in the NCAA tournament.
By the end of the night, No. 4 seed Syracuse had broken the mark by routing 13th-seeded Montana 81-34.
Former William Fleming star Troy Daniels had 23 points and Juvonte Reddic scored 21 for the Rams. They broke a margin-of-defeat record by a team seeded third or lower set by No. 3 Arizona in 1996, when it beat 14th-seeded Valparaiso by 39 points, according to STATS.
The previous mark by a fifth-seeded team against a 12th-seeded squad was set by Wyoming in a 35-point win over Howard in 1981 and matched by Tennessee against Long Beach State in 2007, according to STATS.
"It's a great accomplishment," Daniels said. "We'll take it, but we've got to get ready to play [today]."
The Rams (27-8) will play fourth-seeded Michigan for a spot in the round of 16.
"That's what we live for," VCU coach Shaka Smart said.
Akron (26-7) was seriously short-handed, and it showed.
In addition to playing without suspended point guard Alex Abreu, the Zips had other problems as well. Starting guard Brian Walsh and reserve center Pat Forsythe were limited by the flu, and reserve guard Deji Ibitayo wasn't even in uniform because of back spasms.
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