While Auburn and Notre Dame held off rallying opponents, No. 7 North Carolina and No. 13 Kansas had some adjusting to do in order to knock off lightly regarded opponents in first-round games of the NCAA tournament's Southeast Regional today.
North Carolina Coach Dean Smith had to call a timeout midway through the second half to rouse the Tar Heels before they put away Middle Tennessee State, 76-57. Kansas took a quick lesson in dealing with the slowdown game before stopping Ohio University, 49-38.
Auburn (21-11), which beat Purdue, 59-58, will play Kansas (26-7) in the second round Saturday at Notre Dame's Athletic and Convocation Center. North Carolina (25-8) will meet Notre Dame (21-8), which stopped Oregon State, 79-70.
Middle Tennessee State (17-14) led, 45-44, with 11:23 left. But that was when Smith called time. Brad Daugherty (25 points) scored four of the Tar Heels' next six baskets as they pulled away.
The Tar Heels had trailed by seven in the first half. Warren Martin (14 points) gave North Carolina, which lost Steve Hale for the rest of the tournament with a separated shoulder, the lead for the first time with a basket with 17:30 left. Middle Tennessee held its final lead on a basket by Ronnie Thompson (22 points).
Ohio, with the 45-second shot clock not in effect for the NCAA tournament, used a deliberate style to keep the Jayhawks within reach.
The strategy might have been more successful if the Mid-America Conference champion Bobcats (22-8) had been shooting better. They went for more than eight minutes without a point in the first half, had a 4 1/2-minute drought in the second half and shot only 33 percent for the game.
Calvin Thompson had 12 points to lead Kansas. Vic Alexander paced Ohio with 15.
Notre Dame's David Rivers scored 10 of his 21 points in the last six minutes to help the Irish hold off an Oregon State rally.
The Beavers were down by 55-45 with 9:41 left. But Tyrone Miller had two breakaways as Oregon State scored 11 of the next 12 points for a 56-56 tie with 6:33 left, the first tie since the second minute of the game.
Rivers scored eight of Notre Dame's next 12 points, including two straight field goals to give the Irish a 68-61 lead with 2:41 left.
A.C. Green led the Beavers with 26 points.
Purdue (20-9) trailed by nine in the first half and by five late in the second half before rallying to tie on a basket by freshman Troy Lewis (19 points) with 55 seconds to go.
The Tigers worked the ball for the game-winning shot before freshman Chris Morris was fouled by Mark Atkinson with 14 seconds left. Morris made the first shot to put the Tigers ahead, but when he missed the second, Purdue rebounded and called time.
The Boilermakers got the ball to forward James Bullock, who missed a short turnaround jumper with two seconds left.
Chuck Person led Auburn with 20 points.