Scores

Final

(16) Oakland 68

(13-19, 7-9 Horizon)

(1) North Carolina 96

(28-4, 14-2 ACC)

    2:50 PM ET, March 18, 2005

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    #16OAK 33 3568
    #1UNC 59 3796

    Top Performers

    Oakland: C. Scott 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    North Carolina: M. Williams 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Tar Heels shoot 73 percent in first half

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina finally played up to its standards again, ending the postseason run of perhaps the NCAA Tournament's most unlikely participant.

    Freshman Marvin Williams scored 20 points and Sean May added 19 in the top-seeded Tar Heels' 96-68 rout of Oakland in the Syracuse Regional on Friday, a significant improvement from their lackluster showing in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

    Coming off a loss to Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels (28-4) shot 73 percent in the first half to take a 28-point lead and keep coach Roy Williams unbeaten in the first round of the NCAAs.

    "I felt like we had to come out and redeem ourselves from the way we played," May said.

    The Tar Heels certainly did that. North Carolina had four players in double figures and set a school record with 12 3-pointers in an NCAA game, advancing to Sunday's second round against ninth-seeded Iowa State.

    The game ended a surprising postseason run by the Golden Grizzlies (13-19), who won only nine regular-season games but reached the NCAAs with an improbable run through the Mid-Continent Conference tournament. Once there, the Michigan school -- which began playing Division I basketball in 1998 -- beat Alabama A&M in Tuesday's play-in game to earn the date with the Tar Heels in their home state.

    Oakland was the only team in the 65-team field with a losing record.

    It was apparent how much the postseason run meant to Oakland coach Greg Kampe, who thanked reporters after his postgame news conference.

    "We had a really great time here," he said. "This was the best two weeks in Oakland history, and I want to thank anyone who wrote anything about us."

    For the Tar Heels, it was a welcome sign that the struggles of that ACC tournament might be behind them. It also marked the first time in nearly a month that they looked like the team that cruised to so many lopsided wins during the season.

    Rashad McCants scored 16 points in his return to the starting lineup after an intestinal disorder sidelined him for four games. McCants went 6-for-9 from the floor with four 3-pointers.

    "I felt like I was back in the flow," McCants said.

    In addition, Marvin Williams went 8-for-11 from the floor with eight rebounds in his first NCAA game. The ACC rookie of the year struggled with just one field goal in the league tournament but was back to providing an immediate scoring punch -- and plenty of confidence -- off the bench.

    "I got a rebound (in the first half) and he told me, 'From now on, stay out of here. This is for the big men,'" senior guard Melvin Scott said.

    The win improved Roy Williams to 16-0 in the first round of the tournament, with 14 of those coming during 15 seasons at Kansas.

    Williams is in his second season with North Carolina, where he spent 10 seasons as an assistant to Dean Smith before returning to bring his struggling alma mater back in line with its storied tradition. After the Tar Heels missed the tournament for two straight years, Williams led his sixth-seeded team to the second round last year.

    But if Friday's performance was any indication, North Carolina -- a No. 1 seed for the first time in seven years -- looks as if it will be sticking around a little longer this time.

    After the 78-75 loss to the Yellow Jackets, Williams made the team watch film of the loss to highlight its mistakes. The players responded with two days of intense workouts -- which left May with a black eye -- and Williams said he thought his team was focused heading into the NCAAs.

    The Tar Heels overwhelmed the Golden Grizzlies from the start, methodically working the ball inside and getting any shot they wanted. The Tar Heels tallied assists on their first 14 baskets and shot 22-for-30 in the first half.

    North Carolina led 59-33 at halftime and increased the lead to as many as 36 points after the break.

    Cortney Scott finished with 21 points to lead Oakland.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    OAK
    UNC
    Points 68 96
    FG Made-Attempted 25-58 (.431) 37-58 (.638)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-15 (.400) 12-19 (.632)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-18 (.667) 10-19 (.526)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 37

    Series

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Mar 18, 2005 @UNC 96, OAK 68Recap