Wisconsin flies past UNC in NCAA Tournament opener, 85-62

Chase for the Championship

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA – MARCH 19: Brad Davison #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers drives to the basket as Caleb Love #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels defends during the first half in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Mackey Arena on March 19, 2021 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WNCN) – Wisconsin grabbed control in the final 10 minutes of the first half and never looked back as it raced past North Carolina, 85-62 in Friday’s NCAA Tournament first-round matchup.

The loss is only the fourth time in program history and the first time since 1999 the Tar Heels have been knocked out in the first round. It was also the first time UNC lost in the first round under Roy Williams.

Garrison Brooks made a layup that brought UNC within two, 20-18, with 8:43 left in the first half. Nate Reuvers’ dunk shortly after kickstarted a 12-3 run, which was punctuated by a 3-pointer from Micah Potter.

The Tar Heels responded with a 3 from Kerwin Walton only to have Brad Davison hit another from long range for the Badgers. Davison made another in the final 30 seconds to send Wisconsin into the halftime break with a 40-24 lead.

The Badgers continued to thrive from behind the arc in the second half. They finished the game 13-of-27 from 3-point range and were nearly 51 percent from the floor. UNC shot 38.5 percent.

UNC never came closer than a dozen points in the final 10 minutes.

Davison had a game-best 29 points for Wisconsin. D’Mitrik Trice chipped in with 21.

Armando Bacot had 15 to lead the Tar Heels and Garrison Brooks had a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).

Wisconsin moves on to face No. 1 Baylor in the second round.

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