Playing without John Henson again, Tyler Zeller and the Tar Heels advanced past Vermont 77-58 on Friday. The win moves them to the third round where they will face Creighton on Sunday in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Zeller had 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead North Carolina who, despite playing without Henson and being out rebounded, were in control of the game throughout.
James Michael McAdoo started for Henson and had a solid game with 17 points and 6 rebounds and a couple of thunderous dunks. Harrison Barnes had 14 points while Kendall Marshall scored 11 points and dished out 10 assists.
Carolina struggled shooting the basketball during the game and finished 41.5% from the floor. But their defense was strong keeping the Catamounts to under 40% from the field. The Tar Heels were able to get to the foul line frequently and converted 18 of 24 attempts.
On sitting Henson, Coach Roy Williams said, "I went to him and I said, 'John, it just doesn't look like you're comfortable, And he says, 'Coach, not really, but I'm right there" It will likely be another game time decision as to his availability against Creighton on Sunday.
North Carolina opened up a 12 point halftime lead to as many as 27 in the second half. Sandro Carrissimo led Vermont with 12 points.
North Carolina improved to 30-5 on the season and will face a Creighton team who likes to get up and down the court much like the Tar Heels. The Blue Jays feature All-American candidate Doug McDermott, a High School teammate of Harrison Barnes. Game time for Sunday has yet to be determined.