2001 NCAA Men's Tourney
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NCAA Basketball Scoreboard: Recap
Recap | Box Score | Today's Scoreboard
North Carolina 70, Princeton 48
Posted: Saturday March 17, 2001 01:16 AM
Princeton
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North Carolina
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NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- For the second time, the Superdome was the sight of a North Carolina NCAA Tournament victory over a team coached by John Thompson. This one, however, was not nearly as dramatic.

Brendan Haywood scored half of his team's points during a key first-half stretch as the Tar Heels, playing in the building where they claimed both their national titles, routed Ivy League champion Princeton, 70-48, in a first-round South Region game.

Second-seeded North Carolina (26-6), which won the 1982 and 1993 national titles in the "Big Easy," will face Penn State in the second round on Sunday.

"It was a difficult game to play," said first-year North Carolina coach Matt Doherty. "Princeton is a difficult opponent to prepare for. I think we really set the tone early and played some good defense in holding them to 29-percent shoting in the first half." Nineteen years ago, inside the Superdome, the Tar Heels edged Georgetown, 63-62, on a last-second shot by Michael Jordan. The Hoyas were coached by Hall-of-Famer John Thompson.

On Friday, his son, John Thompson III was on the losing end, but the Tigers (16-11) had very little chance against the Tar Heels, falling behind 18-8 and 36-16 at halftime in their first NCAA appearance in three years.

Haywood had nine of his 15 points during an 18-5 run that turned the game into a blowout. His dunk with 40 seconds remaining in the first half gave the Tar Heels a commanding 36-13 advantage. Princeton got no closer than 12 after halftime.

The 7-foot Haywood was too much for the Tigers to handle. He had a pair of dunks during the burst and twice was fouled in desperation by Princeton while converting easy layups. Ronald Curry also hit a 3-pointer during the run.

"I knew we had a height advantage, but just because you are tall doesn't mean that you're going to dominate," Haywood said.

Joseph Forte scored 13 points and Jason Capel and Julius Peppers added 12 apiece for North Carolina, which improved to 7-0 all-time in the Superdome, including five wins in the NCAA Tournament.

Ironcially, Doherty was on the losing end of one of those Tar Heel victories, as an assistant at Kansas in the 1993 Final Four.

"Coach told us to be patient and get the ball inside," said Capel, who had six assists. "We did a good job of being patient and running the offense through Brendan and Pep (Julius Peppers)." Forte also had 12 rebounds for the Tar Heels, who held a 38-19 advantage on the boards and shot 55 percent (26-of-47) while outscoring the Tigers at the foul line, 15-1.

"I think we had to be patient on both offense and defense," said Forte. "I think it paid off in the end, we really let the game come to us and didn't force anything." Freshman Ed Persia netted 16 points for the Tigers, who lost an NCAA Tournament game to North Carolina for the second time. The Tar Heels posted a 78-70 overtime victory over the Tigers in the 1967 East Region semifinals.

Princeton, which connected on just 38 percent (20-of-53) of its shots, is without an NCAA Tournament victory since 1996.

"It's hard to sit here after a loss and realize how good the year was and what this group accomplished," Thompson said. "The whole senior class made tremendous sacrifices. They do understand (what they've done), but they're competitors." The Tigers were 7-of-29 from 3-point range.

"Teams have had a size advantage on us all year," Persia said. "If we could have hit some shots early, it would have been a lot different." .

 

   
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