CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- There's no place like Charlotte for North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.
Sean May scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and freshman Marvin Williams added 20 and 15 to lead the top-seeded Tar Heels to a 92-65 rout of ninth-seeded Iowa State in the second round of the Syracuse Region.
North Carolina (29-4) improved to 7-0 in NCAA Tournament games at Charlotte and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000 and 20th time overall, tying Kentucky for the most trips.
"Our goal wasn't to just make the Sweet 16," May said. "That's just a step toward our goal."
The Tar Heels, who won the regular season Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title to earn a No. 1 seed, will play fifth-seeded Villanova in the regional semifinals Friday at the Carrier Dome.
Iowa State (19-12) was successful with its fast-breaking style on offense and tough matchup zone on defense with occasional fullcourt pressure in a 64-53 win over Minnesota in the first round. But that style of play did not work against the athletic Tar Heels, who regularly use as many as nine players and wore out the Cyclones in the second half.
"I think depth had a big effect on this game," said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who advanced to the Sweet 16 nine times in 15 years as Kansas coach. "When we sub, our team gets stronger in some areas."
North Carolina held a 36-33 lead before closing the first half with nine straight points. Marvin Williams hit a pair of baskets, May converted a layup and Rashad McCants capped the half with a 3-pointer, giving the Tar Heels a 45-33 advantage.
North Carolina then opened the second half with an 11-2 run. May scored five points, McCants hit a 3-pointer and Marvin Williams added a basket and a free throw, opening a 56-35 lead with 15:09 left.
Iowa State pulled within 78-65 after a pair of free throws by Jared Homan with 5:29 left, but North Carolina went on to score the last 14 points of the game.
Homan finished with 19 points and 20 rebounds in his final college game and Curtis Stinson added 14 points for Iowa State, which shot just 29 percent (12-of-41) in the second half and committed 17 turnovers.
"They're just too deep and that's what makes them so good," Stinson said. "We beat a lot of good teams this year. But Carolina is the best we've faced."
The 6-9 May had his way inside, making 8-of-9 shots. Marvin Williams, who scored 20 points in the first-round win over Oakland, converted 8-of-12 shots.
"My teammates have done a good job of getting me the ball," Williams said. "We have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the basket. This was a good weekend for us."
McCants added 17 points and Raymond Felton contributed 15 and eight assists for the Tar Heels.
"We got some open shots and were able to get to the basket," Felton said. "In the second half, they seemed exhausted. We just kept running and running. We feel like no one in the country can run with us."