Busting Brackets

North Carolina Basketball: Inside Look at Round of 32 History

Just like the Round of 64, let's take a closer look at Carolina's recent history during the second-round of the NCAA Tournament.

Jae'Lyn Withers completed his outing with a double-double against Wagner in the Round of 64.
Jae'Lyn Withers completed his outing with a double-double against Wagner in the Round of 64. / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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UNC's victory in the Round of 64 has granted them a battle with the Michigan State Spartans. Armando Bacot and RJ Davis made their marks, as expected. However, Jae'Lyn Withers stepped up big time when the team needed it the most. Withers playing in front of his hometown calls it a "surreal experience," as he completed arguably his best game of the season in a Tar Heel uniform.

"Obviously having a double-double in front of all those fans and my family, and contributing to the win is great. To do that in my first NCAA Tournament game is surreal," the Charlotte native said in the postgame press conference following the 90-62 triumph over the Seahawks.

Listed below are North Carolina's last five second-round games during the 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 seasons.

2022: #8 UNC vs. #1 Baylor - (Won, 93-86)

RJ Davis - 30 PTS, 5 REBS, 6 ASTS, 8-17 FG, 5-10 3PT, 9-10 FT
Caleb Love - 5 PTS, 3 REBS, 2 ASTS, 1-6 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT
Leaky Black - 4 PTS, 5 REBS, 6 ASTS, 2-3 FG
Brady Manek - 26 PTS, 5 REBS, 2 AST, 8-13 FG, 4-8 3PT, 6-8 FT
Armando Bacot - 15 PTS, 16 REBS, 4 ASTS, 4-10 FG, 7-15 3PT

It was a crazy contest, to say the least, as this UNC-Baylor outing was by far one of the most dramatic games in Carolina basketball history. Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek was ejected due to an elbow underneath the rim; former UNC star guard Caleb Love fouled out; and junior Armando Bacot was unable to hit numerous timely free throws during the closing minutes of regulation. UNC's largest lead of the game was 25, but up until the exit of Brady Manek, it began to go sideways.

The Bears were able to come back and force a tie ball game, placing five extra minutes on the game clock. Heading into overtime, first-year Coach Davis sent out former Tar Heels Justin Mckoy and Dontrez Styles to fill in for Manek's and Love's spots. The two guys were huge, especially Styles, who hit a massive three, putting Carolina up 83-80 from the get-go. The Tar Heels were able to finish the contest off strong behind a 30-point bomb by sophomore RJ Davis.

This performance came after dishing out 12 assists in the first-round matchup against Marquette. That season, North Carolina experienced a lot of emotional highs and lows. However, all of those emotions were compiled into this very game, the duality of basketball is real.