Rapid Reaction: Auburn blows out North Carolina to advance to Elite 8
Now, that was an epic Sweet 16 game.
The Auburn Tigers upset the North Carolina Tar Heels 97-80 in one of the most high-octane and entertaining games you’ll see all tournament. The Tigers have now won 11 straight games and seem to be on fire.
Auburn led the Heels 41-39 at halftime after a back-and-forth first half, thanks to J’Von McCormick’s buzzer-beating layup. The Tigers then went on a 14-0 run to end the first half and to start the second.
Auburn’s shooting caught fire in the second half, too. Danjel Purifoy came alive and hit three straight three pointers at one point to give the Tigers full control. Purifoy finished with 14 points.
Jared Harper scored nine points and recorded 11 assists, while Malik Dunbar finished with 13. Bryce Brown scored 12 points.
The Tigers finished with an impressive 17 three pointers.
Auburn’s defense played well, too. UNC averaged 86 points per game this year, and the Tigers held the Heels under that mark.
Although Auburn won, there’s obvious concern following the injury to Chuma Okeke. Okeke left the game due to a knee injury after scoring 20 points. He was terrific.
Auburn advances to the Elite 8 to face the winner of Kentucky and Houston.