CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Pity poor Oakland. Not only did the Golden Grizzlies have to play a top seed, but they had to face an angry top seed.
North Carolina delivered a quick knockout, scoring early and often in an 96-68 rout of overmatched Oakland in a first-round game in the Syracuse Region.
Marvin Williams scored 20 points and Sean May added 19 for the Tar Heels (28-4), who took out their frustrations on the Golden Grizzlies after a pair of sub-par performances in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament against Clemson and Georgia Tech.
"The way we played today, that's Carolina basketball," said Williams, who matched a career high. "We didn't do that last week, but we made a big effort in practice to fix those mistakes."
Oakland (13-19) made the NCAA Tournament with a losing record by winning the Mid-Continent Conference tournament, then defeated Alabama A&M in Tuesday's opening-round game. But the Golden Grizzlies were dealt a dose of reality by the Tar Heels, who scored virtually at will.
Turning the game into a dunk-fest, North Carolina was unstoppable in the first half, when they shot 73 percent (22-of-30) from the field and raced to a 59-33 lead.
"That was an unbelievable first half," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "They scored 59 points on 32 possessions. A couple turnovers we made early got the game going too fast."
In the second round Sunday, the Tar Heels face Iowa State, a 64-53 winner over Minnesota earlier Friday.
"We were so much more focused," said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who improved to 16-0 in NCAA Tournament first-round games. "We were extremely disappointed with the way we played in D.C. (in the ACC tournament) and our kids wanted to get that bad taste out of their mouths."
After making 12 of its first 14 shots, North Carolina cooled off a bit in the second half but still finished at 64 percent (37-of-58).
"We're back to normal," said North Carolina guard Raymond Felton, who handed out seven assists. "We're a great team when we share the ball."
Cortney Scott scored 21 points for Oakland, which won just nine regular-season games and was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
"When (the other team) shoots 70 percent from the field in the first half, there's not much you can do," Scott said.
Rashad McCants contributed 16 points and Jackie Manuel added 10 for the Tar Heels, who repeatedly pounded the ball inside in the first half. Williams made 8-of-11 shots and May converted 6-of-12.
North Carolina never trailed as May scored four straight points to give the Tar Heels a 10-1 lead less than three minutes into the contest.
North Carolina made its first six 3-pointers, taking a 36-17 lead on Williams' 3-pointer with still more than nine minutes left in the opening half. The Tar Heels led by as many as 36 in the second half.
"I felt like we had to come out and redeem ourselves," May said. "We knew we had to come back and get back to normal and play our game."
North Carolina shot a season-best 63 percent from 3-point range, making 12-of-19 from beyond the arc. The only negative for the Tar Heels was their 53 percent (12-of-19) free throwing shooting - a season low.
"There's no question we took a step or two backwards at D.C., but I think we've gotten better since then," Roy Williams added. "We feel great about the fact that we're still one of 32 teams still playing."