Brad Davison poured in 29 points with a sterling shooting performance as Wisconsin overwhelmed North Carolina for an 85-62 victory in the NCAA Tournament’s first round Friday night in West Lafayette, Ind.
D’Mitrik Trice added 21 points for the Badgers, who held a double-digit lead for the entire second half.
Ninth-seeded Wisconsin (18-12) will take on the South Region’s top seed, Baylor, in Sunday’s second round. The Bears advanced by routing Hartford earlier Friday.
The outcome marked the first loss in an NCAA Tournament opener for North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who was a combined 29-0 in those games with Kansas and the Tar Heels. North Carolina bowed out in the first round for the first time since a 1999 loss to Weber State.
Armando Bacot posted 15 points and Garrison Brooks and Caleb Love both had 10 points for the eighth-seeded Tar Heels (18-11). Brooks contributed 10 rebounds.
Davison shot 10-for-15 from the field in Purdue’s arena, where the Badgers lost earlier in the month in a Big Ten Conference regular-season game. The senior guard was 5-for-7 on 3-pointers, while Trice tacked on three 3-pointers.
Overall, Wisconsin shot 13 of 27 on 3-pointers compared to North Carolina’s 5-for-13 mark.
Wisconsin blocked eight shots, contributing to the Tar Heels’ 38.5-percent shooting from the field. North Carolina ended up with 10 turnovers.
Wisconsin’s lead ballooned to 19 points in the first part of the second half. The Tar Heels applied a full-court press and trimmed the hole to 12 points, but the Badgers kept making jump shots on the way to shooting 50.8 percent from the field for the game.
By halftime, the Badgers held a 40-24 lead, committing just two turnovers. North Carolina, which is the country’s top team in terms of second-chance points, had offensive rebounds on just three of its 20 first-half misfires.
Wisconsin also eliminated North Carolina in the 2015 tournament, but that came in the Sweet 16 round.
–Field Level Media