CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tyler Zeller scored 23 points, Harrison Barnes added 22 and North Carolina survived a frantic finish to beat Washington 86-83 on Sunday and advance to the round of 16 for an NCAA tournament-record 24th time.
Rallying from deficits of 11 points in the first half and five in the second, the second-seeded Tar Heels (28-7) went ahead for good on Barnes' 3-pointer with 4:06 left. But they needed two key free throws from Dexter Strickland and a defensive stop in the closing seconds to advance.
Terrence Ross scored 19 points and Matthew Bryan-Amaning added 14 for the seventh-seeded Huskies (24-11), who overcame a hostile crowd to nearly pull the upset in a fast-paced game full of entertaining plays and mental miscues down the stretch.
Washington star guard Isaiah Thomas struggled, however, missing 10 of 15 shots.