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Originally published March 21, 2014 at 9:55 PM | Page modified March 21, 2014 at 11:16 PM

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North Carolina survives a scare, tops Providence

Providence’s Bryce Cotton scored a career-high 36 points and made one dazzling shot after another in the Friars’ first tournament appearance since 2004. But a breathtaking performance ended in agony: Cotton fumbled a long rebound in the final moments after a McAdoo free-throw miss, robbi


The Associated Press

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SAN ANTONIO — North Carolina isn’t going home early like Duke. But only just barely.

James Michael McAdoo sank two free throws in the final 3.5 seconds after the No. 6 seed Tar Heels had trailed just a minute earlier, and North Carolina hung on to beat 11th-seeded Providence 79-77 Friday night.

Had North Carolina (24-9) lost, it would’ve been the first time since 1979 the Tar Heels and rival Blue Devils lost on the same day of the NCAA tournament.

“We feel very fortunate, to say the least,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

Providence’s Bryce Cotton scored a career-high 36 points and made one dazzling shot after another in the Friars’ first tournament appearance since 2004. But a breathtaking performance ended in agony: Cotton fumbled a long rebound in the final moments after a McAdoo free-throw miss, robbing the Friars of a chance for a last-second miracle.

“It wasn’t enough, you know?” Cotton said. “I definitely left it all out on the floor just like the rest of my teammates, but obviously, it wasn’t enough because we didn’t come up with the win.”

Providence coach Ed Cooley was more forgiving.

“I’ve seen Bryce perform like that in practice, but when you get to this stage and you’re able to do that — I’ve been saying the whole year I think Bryce is one of the top guards in all of America,” Cooley said. “It’s just for whatever reason he didn’t get the national love. I think today if there is somebody in this national tournament that does that, they would be considered Superman.”

Marcus Paige led North Carolina with 19 points.

Ladontae Henton had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Friars (23-12), who led 71-64 with 4:30 remaining.

Memphis 71, George Washington 66

RALEIGH, N.C. — Michael Dixon Jr. scored 19 points and hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds to help the Tigers (24-9) hold off the Colonials (24-9).

Joe Jackson added 15 points for the eighth-seeded Tigers (24-9). They entered the tournament having lost three of five to fall out of the national rankings, and struggled to put the ninth-seeded Colonials away until the final seconds.

Virginia 70, Coastal Carolina 59

RALEIGH, N.C. — Anthony Gill scored 17 points to help the No. 1 seed Cavaliers pull away late and beat the 16th-seedee Chanticleers (21-13), avoiding a historic upset in the NCAA tournament.

The Cavaliers trailed by 10 in the first half and five at halftime before pushing ahead for good with about nine minutes left.

Iowa State 93, N. Caro. Central 75

SAN ANTONIO — Georges Niang scored 24 points, but also broke his foot will miss the rest of the NCAA tournament, as the third-seeded Cyclones (27-7) pulled away from the No. 14 seed Eagles in the second half.

Jeremy Ingram scored 28 for North Carolina Central (28-6), which had won 20 straight games.



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