published Friday, March 21st, 2014

North Carolina survives scare by Providence

North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks (3) shoots as Providence's Tyler Harris (25) defends during their second-round game in the NCAA basketball tournament Friday, March 21, 2014, in San Antonio.
North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks (3) shoots as Providence's Tyler Harris (25) defends during their second-round game in the NCAA basketball tournament Friday, March 21, 2014, in San Antonio.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SAN ANTONIO — James Michael McAdoo sank two free throws in the final 3.5 seconds, and No. 6 seed North Carolina rallied to beat 11th-seeded Providence 79-77 Friday night.

Providence's Bryce Cotton scored a career-high 36 points and made one dazzling shot after another down the stretch. But he also fumbled a long rebound in the final moments, robbing the Friars of a chance for a last-second miracle.

Had North Carolina (24-9) lost, it would've been the first time since 1979 the Tar Heels and rival Duke lost on the same day of the tournament.

The Blue Devils fell earlier to 14th-seeded Mercer, and the Friars nearly handed North Carolina a similar stunner.

Marcus Paige led North Carolina with 19 points.

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