KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WNCN) – Auburn, despite a relatively quiet night from its top-two scorers, blew past No. 1 North Carolina, 97-80, in Friday’s Sweet 16 meeting.
Bryce Brown and Jared Harper average a combined 31 points per game but were largely quiet for the fifth-seeded Tigers until late in the game. Chuma Okeke, who finished with a team-high 20 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double, left the game with an apparent knee injury with a little more than eight minutes left.
Auburn led UNC, 41-39, going into halftime. Harper and Brown each hit a 3-pointer to kickstart the second half and the Tigers never looked back. The Tigers went on to erupt for 56 points in the second half.
Auburn shot almost 46 percent from behind the arc. It set a program record for most points in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Tar Heels had Coby White and Cam Johnson lead the team with 15 points each. Two other starters scored in double figures. Nassir Little, who was a game-time decision after missing practice Thursday, had four points off the bench.
Auburn will play either Houston or Kentucky in the Elite Eight.