No. 1 UNC pulls away late from ninth-seeded Michigan State to make Sweet 16


The University of North Carolina continues to be a thorn in Michigan State’s side.

The Tar Heels are now 7-0 against the Spartans in March Madness play after their 85-69 second-round victory Saturday.

The Spartans were up 26-14 with 9:40 left in the first half, but UNC responded with a 29-5 run that carried into the second half to put the Tar Heels up a dozen. 

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Harrison Ingram of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts to a play during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Spectrum Center March 23, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

But the underdogs were not dead, coming right back with a 15-5 run to cut the deficit to two. 

UNC wound up going back up seven quickly, but the Spartans cut it to five with 8:10 left. However, the Tar Heels are a No. 1 seed for a reason.

Over the next five minutes, the Tar Heels went on a 14-2 run to go up an insurmountable 17 points, their largest lead of the night, and Michigan State wasn’t able to get close again.

UNC’s Harrison Ingram went 5-for-7 from long range for his 17-point, seven-rebound performance. RJ Davis (20) and Cormac Ryan (14) combined to hit five of their dozen 3-point tries, while Armando Bacot dropped 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Armando Bacot

Armando Bacot of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Spectrum Center March 23, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

GONZAGA USES DOMINANT SECOND HALF AGAINST KANSAS TO REACH NINTH STRAIGHT SWEET 16

UNC is now 13-4 in the all-time series between the two college basketball powerhouses.

The Tar Heels play the winner of No. 4 Alabama and No. 12 Grand Canyon, who face off Sunday. 

UNC celebrates three

Cormac Ryan (3) of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates a 3-point basket during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Spectrum Center March 23, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Grand Canyon earned its first March Madness victory in school history by upsetting No. 5 St. Mary’s Friday.

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