Butler vs North Carolina

Berry scores 26 points and Carolina defeats Butler 92-80

AP
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) North Carolina expects strong offensive performances from junior leaders Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II, but Luke Maye provided an unexpected bonus.

Berry scored 26 points, Jackson had 24, but it was the first career double-double from Maye - 16 points and 12 rebounds - that helped set the tone early and send the top-seeded Tar Heels to a 92-80 victory over Butler in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

''He has the ability to shoot the ball. He has the ability to rebound the ball,'' North Carolina coach Roy Williams said of the sophomore forward and former walk-on. ''But the reason Luke is going to be successful is what he's got in his brain and in his heart.''

Carolina, which reached the Elite Eight for the 27th time, will face the winner of Friday's second South Regional between UCLA and Kentucky.

Maye's early jolt off the bench helped Carolina (30-7) build a first-half lead to as many as 20 as the Tar Heels benefitted from accuracy, connecting on 54.4 percent of their shots while Butler was at 43.5 percent.

''We knew we were going to have to make some perimeter shots to give ourselves a chance,'' Butler coach Chris Holtmann said. ''They were going to give us some clean looks, and we were going to have to make them. We just didn't.''

Andrew Chrabascz led the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (25-9) with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Kelan Martin finished with 16 points for Butler, which struggled shooting early and did not recover.

''We let them get into a rhythm, especially in the beginning,'' Chrabascz said. ''When you let a team like that feel good about themselves, it's tough to get them out of that with how many talented guys they have on their team. And also they answered every run that we had.''

The Tar Heels broke out of the gate early, building a double-digit lead and really weren't threatened after halftime, although Butler did get within 10 at one point. Carolina, which let Arkansas claw back before defeating the Razorbacks 72-65 last weekend, weren't going to let that happen again.

''We got by with very little room against Arkansas,'' Jackson said. ''We knew it was a game of runs. Butler is a good team, and they keep on coming at you. For us, we tried to stay focused and stay poised.''

North Carolina used early accurate shooting to build a 16-point lead as the Tar Heels connected on 13 of their first 18 shots, including missing only one of seven from outside the arc.

While Butler managed to whittle the deficit to single digits on a couple of occasions before halftime, North Carolina would simply answer with another rally, helping the Tar Heels carry a 52-36 lead into the break.

The Tar Heels lead would stretch the lead back to 20 near the 12-minute mark of the second half, but Butler didn't exactly allow North Carolina to coast home.

A 13-4 Bulldog run made a dent in the advantage as Martin had seven in the stretch with Avery Woodson connecting on a 3-pointer. Martin closed out the run with another 3-pointer to pull Butler within 71-60.

But while the Bulldogs would cut the Carolina advantage to 10 points 2 minutes later, they would get no closer the rest of the way.

BIG PICTURE

Butler: The Bulldogs had not trailed in the tournament until Carolina's Isaiah Hicks scored the game's opening basket. The two previous times Butler defeated a No. 1 seed, the Bulldogs went all the way to the national championship game.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels have reached the Elite Eight 27 times, including eight times since 2000. Maye's 16 points were a career-high. ''I got a couple of shots to fall in and felt pretty confident they kept going in,'' Maye said.

JENKINS ATTENDS: Kris Jenkins, who made the 3-pointer to defeat the Tar Heels in last year's national championship game, was seated near the Carolina bench. Jenkins was cheering on his brother, senior guard Nate Britt. ''Me, him and Nate are in a group chat together. We always laugh and stuff. He's pretty close to most of us. I mean, he's here supporting his brother, and we're kind of like his brothers, too,'' forward Kennedy Meeks said.

PENCE CANCELS: Vice President Mike Pence, who once was expected to attend Friday's game, cancelled Friday because of the action in Washington surrounding health care. Pence has ties to Butler, not only as the former governor of Indianapolis, but also because his wife, Karen, attended the school.

UP NEXT: North Carolina plays the winner of the region's second game on Friday between No. 2 seed Kentucky and the third-seed UCLA.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

 
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Recap Video
Scoreboard
Butler #21 (25-9)364480
North Carolina #6 (30-7) «524092
BUTLER:A. Chrabascz 21 Pts
BUTLER:A. Chrabascz 7 Reb
BUTLER:T. Lewis 4 Ast
UNC:J. Berry II 26 Pts
UNC:L. Maye 12 Reb
UNC:N. Britt 5 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
ButlerNorth Carolina
BUTLER
Andrew Chrabascz
UNC
Luke Maye
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
217416122
Butler Bulldogs
A. Chrabascz, F357-145-574421
K. Baldwin, G295-93-451314
A. Woodson, G283-110-00048
K. Savage, G242-53-42228
T. Wideman, F221-20-03142
K. Martin, F285-124-451216
T. Lewis, G224-80-02418
N. Fowler, C80-10-00030
S. Bennett, G10-00-00000
T. Pettus, G10-01-20001
S. McDermott, G/F10-02-21002
H. Baddley, G/F10-00-00000
J. Brunk, F/C00-00-00000
Totals 27-6218-2125132380
 43.5%85.7% 
North Carolina Tar Heels
J. Berry II, G358-137-912226
J. Jackson, F349-184-655124
K. Meeks, F271-33-411035
T. Pinson, G/F251-43-42435
I. Hicks, F174-51-51359
L. Maye, F256-101-2122116
N. Britt, G221-22-22525
T. Bradley, F61-20-11022
S. Woods, G40-00-01100
S. White, G10-00-00010
K. Coker, G10-00-00010
B. Robinson, G10-00-00000
S. Rush, F10-00-00000
A. Rohlman, F10-00-00000
K. Williams, G00-00-00000
Totals 31-5721-3336222192
 54.4%63.6% 
Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Villanova15-332-41
Butler12-625-915
Creighton10-825-1026
Seton Hall10-821-1244
Providence10-820-1356
Marquette10-819-1361
Xavier9-924-1437
St. Johns7-1114-19140
Georgetown5-1314-18107
DePaul2-169-23236

ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina14-433-75
Florida St.12-626-914
Louisville12-625-97
Notre Dame12-626-1023
Duke11-728-96
Virginia11-723-1118
Va. Tech10-822-1148
Miami (Fla.)10-821-1242
Syracuse10-819-1584
Wake Forest9-919-1439
Georgia Tech8-1021-16106
Clemson6-1217-1668
Pittsburgh4-1416-1774
NC State4-1415-17141
Boston College2-169-23219
 
Other games
SC 70 Final
BAYL 50
UCLA 75 Final
UK 86
WISC 83 Final
FLA 84