Rapid Reaction: UNC 102, LIU 87
March, 18, 2011
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score
WHAT IT MEANS: Long Island University, the No. 15 seed in the East Regional, loses its first NCAA tournament game since 1997, falling to No. 2 seed North Carolina. The Blackbirds see their 13-game winning streak snapped, and finish their season at 27-6.
North Carolina improves to 27-7, and advances to the Round of 32.
THE SKINNY: North Carolina jumped out to a 12-2 lead, and opened up a 13-point first-half lead, before LIU went on a 19-6 run to tie the game at 33 with just under five minutes remaining before halftime. But by the time the half ended, the Tar Heels again led by double digits, 53-42.
North Carlina scored the first seven points of the second half, and never was in serious danger after that. But give the Blackbirds credit for never giving up -- they continued to make mini-runs, trying to get the lead into single digits. But they never quite got there.
STAR POWER: Julian Boyd (18 points, 12 rebounds) was one of three LIU players in double-figures in scoring; C.J. Garner had 16, and Jamal Olasewere added 15.
North Carolina got huge games from Tyler Zeller (career-high 32 points), John Henson (career-high 28 points), and freshman Harrison Barnes (24 points, 16 rebounds).
NUMBER CRUNCH: LIU came in as the fourth-highest scoring team in the country, and it didn't change up its style -- trying to run with North Carolina, as evidenced by the final score. The Blackbirds did have 12 steals, and forced 20 Tar Heel turnovers. But LIU was simply outmatched talent-wise. UNC shot 34-for-67 from the floor (50.7 percent) -- LIU shot just 31-for-85 (36.5 percent).
WHAT'S NEXT: North Carolina will play either No. 7 seed Washington or No. 10 seed Georgia on Sunday. Long Island U. flies home to Brooklyn -- its season is over.