Texas A&M-North Carolina,3rd Ld-Writethru

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He passed Michael Jordan's all-time scoring list for a career high of 1790 points.

To anyone who thought UNC and Virginia would both be eliminated from the NCAA basketball tournament in this first weekend in Charlotte, hopefully you've invested in lottery tickets.

No. 2 seed North Carolina (26-10) advanced to the second round with an 84-66 win over 15th-seeded Lipscomb Friday afternoon.

"I'm competitive, so I think that's just the competitive nature of me wants to step up when the games get bigger", explained Williams, "And also know now it's do or die, win or lose, win or you go home". "He was saying stop being afraid".

That production isn't quite what the Tar Heels have gotten individually from Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson during their past two runs to the Final Four, but it's a step in the right direction for a team that needs interior production to be the best version of itself.

"I think it's a much better sum of its parts team than maybe a year ago", Xavier coach Chris Mack said. That's the approach that I needed.

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After Kenny Cooper hit a 3-pointer to put Lipscomb up 21-15 with 13:02 left in the first half, the shots started to rim out and looks weren't as easy as the Tar Heels locked in defensively. "When [Greenberg] first came on staff, he stayed with us for a little bit".

Indeed, the Bisons (23-10) never drew closer than eight thereafter and trailed by double figures throughout the final 16-plus minutes. "But I feel like we have the versatility to guard any position". The Tar Heels had 0 blocks (Texas A&M had eight) and trailed by 24 at one point.

The Aggies shot 52 percent from the field, while the Tar Heels shot only 33 percent. Kenny Williams led the way with 18 points while shooting four for five from downtown. "So I've just got to get my effort to match up with my potential".

Every sign of life was greeted warmly by the pro-Carolina Spectrum Center crowd just to be let down shortly after. But expectations grew that they could make a third straight Final Four run as UNC found a final-month groove, including two wins against Duke and a trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship game. The game was within reach by halftime as North Carolina was ahead by 9 points, 43-34.

Keeping with that trend, it's been a peculiar season in Chapel Hill. The Heels out-rebounded Lipscomb 47-29.

"He bogeyed 2 and birdied 3, 4, and 6", the North Carolina coach said Saturday when no one else in North Carolina really cared. The No. 1 Cavaliers prevailed, but had the Tar Heels won, they would have been a No. 1 regional seed in the NCAA tournament, the first No. 1 with as many as nine setbacks. It earned him all-ACC Tournament honors which he followed with a near miss on a triple-double on Friday with 15 points, 10 boards, and seven assists.

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