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North Carolina survives early test from Harvard

North Carolina's season lived on -- barely -- with a 67-65 win against Harvard that wasn't decided until the final shot and until the final seconds had expired, allowing the Tar Heels to exhale, finally, and advance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tar Heels, the No. 4 seed in the West Regional, led 13th-seeded Harvard by as many as 16 points with 16 1/2 minutes to play. But the Crimson, which had won opening-round NCAA Tournament games the past two seasons, gradually whittled down their deficit, setting up a wild final minute in Jacksonville, Florida.

Harvard, the champions of the Ivy League, trailed throughout until Siyani Chambers' three-pointer with 1:16 left. Fouled on the play by Marcus Paige, Chambers made the free throw and the Crimson led 65-63.

The Tar Heels tied the score on their next possession with a Justin Jackson jump shot and then, after a Harvard timeout, Chambers missed a three and the rebound was long. J.P. Tokoto, the UNC junior forward, secured it and passed the length of the court to Jackson, whose dunk with 22 seconds remaining provided the game with its final points.

Harvard had two shots late to win it. Chambers missed a three with 11 seconds left and then Wesley Saunders, who had 26 points, missed another one with three seconds left. UNC faces e Arkansas. -- TNS

Arkansas 56, Wofford 53: Michael Qualis scored 20 points and Bobby Portis added 15 for fifth-seeded Arkansas (27-8). Wofford, the Souther Conference champion, finishes 28-7. Ohio State 75, VCU 72: D'Angelo Russell scored 28 points and rallied Ohio State from an early 12-point deficit as the 10th-seeded Buckeyes beat seventh-seeded VCU in overtime in Portland, Oregon.

Russell regrouped from a blow that sent blood streaming down the left side of his face near the end of regulation, showing just why many believe he will be a top pick in this summer's NBA Draft. He made 10 of 20 shots, including 4 of 7 from three-point range, and added six rebounds, two steals and two blocks to bring the Buckeyes back in both halves and overtime.

Ohio State will face second-seeded Arizona tomorrow.

"I watched this [tournament] my whole life," Russell said. "Just knowing that a lot of great teams go down, a lot of underdogs achieve, just with the mentality that anything can happen."

VCU, the Atlantic 10 champ, lost another heartbreaker in the first round as coach Shaka Smart's team struggled to consistently create the "havoc" that carried them to an improbable 2011 Final Four run.

Arizona 93, Texas Southern 72: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 23 points, 16 in the first half, and the second-seeded Arizona Wildcats overwhelmed No. 15 seed Texas Southern from the start in Portland, Oregon.

Xavier 76, Ole Miss 57: Matt Stainbrook scored 20 points, Dee Davis added 17 and sixth-seeded Xavier beat No. 11 seed and First Four winner Mississippi in Jacksonville. Xavier will play No. 14 Georgia State in the third round tomorrow.

Stefan Moody and Jarvis Summers finished a combined 5-for-26 from the field after Ole Miss exerted significant energy in overcoming a 17-point deficit to beat BYU in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, about 43 hours earlier. -- AP


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