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NCAA Tournament results: North Carolina 103, Texas Southern 64 - Tar Heels advance with dominant performance

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The Tar Heels did everything you expect of a #1 seed in their first game against Texas Southern.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-North Carolina vs Texas Southern Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina dominated Texas Southern, as a #1 seed should, on their way to a decisive victory over the 16 seed Friday afternoon. Coach Roy Williams pulled the last of his starters with more than five minutes left to go in the game to give them some rest before Sunday’s battle with Arkansas.

As they have done most of this season, Carolina dominated the boards against the Tigers. They out-rebounded Texas Southern 54 to 27 on their way to 29 second chance points. UNC’s bench also made a huge difference in the game with 46 points from the reserves.

Justin Jackson returned to his ACC Player of the Year ways in a big way on Friday, hitting five of his eight shots from behind the three-point line. It was very encouraging to see him break out of his slump that seemed to plague him in the ACC Tournament.

In all, six Tar Heels finished in double figures with Jackson leading the way with 21 points. There was a brief scare for Carolina when Joel Berry II went down holding his ankle after appearing to roll it. He limped down the tunnel with the trainer before returning and getting back in the game despite the Heels’ large lead.

Berry was likely allowed to return because Williams wanted him to test it in a low-pressure atmosphere before their game on Sunday against the Razorbacks. Upon his return, Berry seemed mostly fine. It was an encouraging sign.

Texas Southern had no answer for Carolina’s big men. The starting duo of Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks were able to establish a dominant presence down low with 13 points/six rebounds and 17 points/six rebounds, respectively. Even the bench big men were able to do work inside.

This is exactly the kind of performance you expect out of a top seed like the Tar Heels in their first game. They were dominant and the game was never in question. Now Arkansas awaits on Sunday after knocking off Seton Hall in the first game from Greenville.