Tar Heels thump Creighton to reach Sweet 16Mar 19, 2012 - 2:03 AM Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - Kendall Marshall scored 18 points to go along with 11 assists as North Carolina advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last six years with a dominating 87-73 victory over Creighton.
It was revealed after the game, however, that Marshall suffered a fractured right wrist in the game and his status for the remainder of the tournament is unknown.
"We'll speak to the hand specialist tonight with Kendall and his family and we'll see what happens after that," North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said.
Harrison Barnes added 17 points and John Henson, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, played his first game of the tourney because of a sprained left wrist and contributed 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for the top- seeded Tar Heels (31-5).
North Carolina will now face No. 13 seed Ohio in the Midwest Regional semifinal game on Friday.
Doug McDermott scored a game-high 20 points for eighth-seeded Creighton (29-6), which failed to win consecutive NCAA Tournament games for the first time in program history.
Gregory Echenique had 12 points while Antoine Young and Josh Jones scored 10 points apiece in a losing effort.
"First and foremost, I couldn't be more proud of my basketball team and our basketball program. It's been a remarkable ride," Creighton head coach Greg McDermott said. "We're disappointed that we lost. We came here with every intention of winning this game."
After a back-and-forth opening six-plus minutes saw Creighton holding a 12-11 lead, James Michael McAdoo's three-point play sparked a 9-0 run to put North Carolina ahead, 20-12.
Doug McDermott and Young dropped in consecutive jumpers to snap the run and bring Creighton within four before the Tar Heels reeled off a 19-8 swing to run out to a 39-24 advantage on Barnes' trey with 5 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
UNC maintained a double-digit lead over the next three minutes, but after McAdoo's layup put the Tar Heels ahead, 43-28, with three minutes remaining in the half, they would miss their next six shots as Creighton recorded the final seven points of the frame to make it a 43-35 game at the break.
The Tar Heels then dominated the second half, opening the period with four straight points and leading by double digits for the remainder of the game.
Creighton shot 46.4 percent in the second half compared to a 37.5 percent shooting performance in the first, but North Carolina was able to keep pace, shooting 46.9 percent in the final 20 minutes to deny any hope of a Bluejay comeback.
The Tar Heels reached the regional semifinals for an NCAA-record 31st time...North Carolina improved to 107-40 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 49-9 mark as a No. 1 seed...Creighton fell to 10-18 in the tournament...The Bluejays are 0-3 all-time against North Carolina.
- CREIGHTON: 73
NORTH CAROLINA: 87
Mar 18 7:31 PM
- CREIGHTON: 35
NORTH CAROLINA: 43
Mar 18 6:19 PM
- CREIGHTON: 0
NORTH CAROLINA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 18 5:32 PM
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