MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Joel Berry scored 26 points and Justin Jackson added 24 and No. 1 seed North Carolina beat fourth seed Butler 92-80 in the NCAA South Regional semifinal on Thursday night.
- Top Seed Kansas Routs Purdue 98-66, Advanced To Elite 8
- Gonzaga Knocks off West Virginia, Books March Madness Elite 8 Spot
Jackson, who shot 9 of 18 from the field, also finished with five rebounds and five assists, while Berry went 8 of 13 on shooting from the floor for North Carolina, which led by as many as 20 points.
“We got by with very little room against Arkansas,” Jackson said. “We knew it was a game of runs.
“Butler is a good team, and they keep on coming at you. For us, we tried to stay focused and stay poised.”
Luke Maye ended with his first career double-double with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Tar Heels (30-7), who shot 54.4 percent and had 22 assists on 31 made field goals.
“He has the ability to shoot the ball. He has the ability to rebound the ball,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said of the sophomore forward.
“But the reason Luke is going to be successful is what he’s got in his brain and in his heart.”
Andrew Chrabascz led the way for Butler with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
“We let them get into a rhythm, especially in the beginning,” he said.
“When you let a team like that feel good about themselves, it’s tough to get them out of that with how many talented guys they have on their team. And also they answered every run that we had.”
Kelan Martin added 16 points and five boards off the bench and Kamar Baldwin had 14 points and five rebounds for the Bulldogs (25-9), who struggled shooting early and did not recover after going 27-for-62 on shooting as a team.
“We knew we were going to have to make some perimeter shots to give ourselves a chance,” Butler coach Chris Holtmann said.
“They were going to give us some clean looks, and we were going to have to make them. We just didn’t.”
North Carolina was reaching is making the Elite Eight for the 26th time, and will take on Kentucky, which defeated UCLA in Friday night’s second heavy weight battle.