Local Teams

National Basketball Association
North Carolina 87, Arkansas 78
When: 8:40 PM ET, Saturday, March 21, 2015
Where: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
Officials: # David Hall, # Mike Roberts, # Bert Smith
Attendance: 13687

North Carolina 87, Arkansas 78: Marcus Paige scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as the Tar Heels held off the Razorbacks in the NCAA Tournament round of 32 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Justin Jackson added 16 points and J.P. Tokoto had 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds for fourth-seeded North Carolina (26-11), which faces No. 1 seed Wisconsin or No. 8 Oregon in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Los Angeles. Nate Britt chipped in 10 points and Kennedy Meeks had nine points before exiting late in the game with a strained left knee as the Tar Heels advanced to their first Sweet 16 since 2012.

Michael Qualls led No. 5 seed Arkansas (27-9) with 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis had 18 points on 5-of-14 shooting along with 14 rebounds and five steals. Rashad Madden chipped in 13 points and five assists for the Razorbacks, who shot 36.9 percent and committed a season-high 21 turnovers.

Arkansas missed 16 of its last 18 field-goal attempts in the first half but only trailed 39-36 at the break after the teams combined to collect 26 offensive rebounds. Jabril Durham drilled a 3-pointer to put the Razorbacks ahead 59-58 with just over 11 minutes left before Paige scored 13 points during a 17-4 run to give North Carolina its biggest lead at 75-63 with 5:30 remaining.

Anthlon Bell stemmed the tide with a 3-pointer and Qualls converted two foul shots to cut the deficit to 75-68, but Jackson scored North Carolina’s next six points to give the Tar Heels a 10-point advantage with 1:25 left. Paige, who was 1-of-8 from the field in the first half, converted four foul shots in the final 20 seconds to secure North Carolina’s 32nd all-time appearance in the Sweet 16.

GAME NOTEBOOK: North Carolina’s Roy Williams became the 15th coach in Division I history to win 750 games. … Bell scored 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range for Arkansas, which was seeking its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1996. … Brice Johnson (seven points, 13 rebounds) and Isaiah Hicks (two points) each fouled out in the final 2:09 for North Carolina, which was 29-of-37 from the foul line, while Arkansas was 22-of-27.
Top Game Performances
Arkansas   North Carolina
Michael Qualls 27 Scoring Marcus Paige 22
Rashad Madden 5 Assists J.P. Tokoto 8
Bobby Portis 14 Rebounds Brice Johnson 13
Michael Qualls 10 Free Throws Made Marcus Paige 9
Bobby Portis 5 Steals Marcus Paige 5
Anthlon Bell 1 Blocks Brice Johnson 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Arkansas 78 36.9 8-25 22-27 17 38 3 9 21
North Carolina 87 45.0 4-10 29-37 14 39 3 13 16