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Texas A&M routs reigning champ North Carolina to reach Sweet 16

Texas A&M Swats Second-Seeded North Carolina From Tournament

So just how bad was UNC's loss?

The Texas A&M men's basketball team will face North Carolina at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. They dominated the glass. The Aggies used their size to control the lane and block shots. At one point in the second half, both teams had shot 18 threes.

The Aggies are moving on to the round of 16 for the second time in three seasons.

In dealing North Carolina its first loss ever in Charlotte, freshman point guard T.J. Starks scored 21 points and dished out five assists and junior center Tyler Davis had 18 points and nine rebounds. We're missing shots that we make all the time. He loaded up Sunday night for another to put Texas A&M up 20 again.

A&M scored 15 straight points and UNC mustered only a pair of Joel Berry free throws before Maye finally broke the drought off a Pinson behind-the-back pass at the 4:03 mark. "I feel it all the time, last game of the year, but I think I felt it more today than any other time".

"We had a hard time", Williams said.

Davis and fellow 6-foot-10 forward Robert Williams helped the Aggies take a 50-36 rebounding advantage against a team that still managed to rank second nationally in rebounding margin, with Williams finishing with 13 rebounds.

Hogg and Gilder scored 14 and 12 respectively.

Kennedy relayed analysis and strategy in-game to get Davis going and comfortable attacking North Carolina.

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Starks showed his moxie immediately against the Tar Heels, making the game's opening shot, a 3-pointer.

The Aggies, who defeated Providence in the first round, advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three seasons.

Luke Maye went from a walk-on to not only a star for the Tar Heels, but one of the best players in the ACC. And they were playing for only their third trip to the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. And it was the worst loss by a reigning national champion since Arizona's 25-point loss to Utah in the 1998 Elite Eight.

But while they were able to get the ball into the soft spot of the Aggies' zone, just as they did against Duke and Syracuse, they weren't as efficient at converting those opportunities into points.

"If we keep working on our defense, we can win against anybody", Starks said.

The games should be exciting to watch, especially if Texas A&M and Auburn can carry some momentum into the matchups after big wins in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They earned it in impressive and unexpectedly dominant fashion.

"We got good kids who made mistakes and, unfortunately, they made more mistakes this year than I'd like", noted Kennedy, "They came together when they needed to come together, and I really thought that if we could always make a run because of our talent level and because of the quality of the kids that we have and they grew up".

UNC: Everything was set up for the Tar Heels to continue their final-month ascent. Instead, they couldn't buy a 3-point shot (6 for 31), struggled to rebound against a bigger team and offered little more than a meager resistance as the Aggies played with aggressive confidence. Davis dominated down low during that stretch, drawing fouls on three different UNC defenders and scoring nine points with a variety of moves. The two biggest came from Admon Gilder and Hogg to start the second half, when the Aggies turned that 14-point halftime lead into a 20-point cushion. It's acceptable that a higher seed can get caught napping in the first game of the weekend, but nothing implied the Tar Heels would get obliterated the way they did on Sunday night.

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