WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina spent the early
minutes of its N-C-A-A tournament opener looking like a top seed
determined to beat down an overmatched opponent.
The Tar Heels then needed almost the rest of the game to do it.
Tyler Hansbrough had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help the Tar
Heels beat Eastern Kentucky 86-to-65 in the first round, giving
coach Roy Williams an N-C-A-A-record 18 straight years with at
least one tournament victory.
Reyshawn Terry added 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting for the Tar
Heels (29-and-6), who advanced to face Michigan State in the second
round of the East Regional on Saturday.
Still, it was an emotional day for Williams. A team spokesman
confirmed Williams' sister died Wednesday night, and athletic
director Dick Baddour said he thought the coach had remained with
his team leading up to the game.
Williams was on the sidelines as always Thursday night. But his
team responded by showing a familiar weakness that has followed it
all season: the inability to put away a game that looks completely
North Carolina led by as many as 27 points in the first half,
then watched the 16th-seeded Colonels (21-and-12) claw to within
four points early after the break before the Tar Heels took control
in the final 10 minutes to close it out.
Darnell Dialls scored 17 points to lead Eastern Kentucky, which
was in the N-C-A-A tournament for the second time in three seasons.