CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Reaching the round of 16 used to be a mere
formality for North Carolina, which once advanced that far 13 years
in a row under Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith.
May had 24 points and 17 rebounds, Williams finished with a
career-high 15 rebounds and the top-seeded Tar Heels beat the
Cyclones 92-65 Sunday in the Syracuse Regional.
"It's a tremendous feeling," May said. "We know we deserve to
be here. For Carolina to be in the Sweet 16, that's an incredible
achievement, but our goal wasn't to make the Sweet 16. That's just
a step toward our goal."
Williams scored 20 points -- tying his season high for the second
consecutive game -- and Rashad McCants added 17 for North Carolina
(29-4), which went to the Final Four in 2000 before the tournament
drought. Second-year coach Roy Williams is in the regional
semifinals for the 10th time in 17 NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Tar Heels will face fifth-seeded Villanova next weekend.
They also set up a possible matchup with league rival North
Carolina State in the regional final. The 10th-seeded Wolfpack beat
No. 2 seed Connecticut 65-62 Sunday.
This one was pretty easy. Iowa State (19-12) beat Minnesota in
the first round with stifling, pressing defense, but it was no
match for North Carolina's offensive prowess. Time and again, point
guard Raymond Felton penetrated to find open teammates, and if they
missed their shot, May or Williams likely was there to clean it up.
"We were bringing it down, getting open shots," Felton said.
"We were getting to the basket, so I knew sooner or later that
they had to get out of it."
During one brilliant stretch of the second half, May and
Williams dominated on both ends of the court to help the Tar Heels
pull away. May started it by blocking Curtis Stinson's layup back
out to halfcourt, then took advantage of a nifty pass from Felton
on the other end for a layup to make it 48-35.
May rebounded a miss from Iowa State's Will Blalock, grabbed one
by McCants at the other end and put it back before getting his 10th
rebound of the game when a hook shot by Iowa State's Jared Homan
bounced off the rim. Seconds later, when McCants went to the free
throw line, Williams replaced May and scored almost immediately,
swishing a jumper on a feed from McCants.
"I've been blessed," Williams said. "I've been playing well,
and my teammates have been doing a good job of getting me the
After Williams blocked a layup by Blalock, May came back in for
Jawad Williams, and he set up a 3-pointer for McCants with a pass
and screen to make it a 19-2 run and a 55-35 lead. Cyclones coach
Wayne Morgan called a timeout but, at that point, it was futile.
"They seemed exhausted," Felton said. "We just keeping
running them and running them and running them. We just feel like
no one in the country can run with us, and that's not being
Homan, playing in his final game, finished with 19 points and 20
rebounds, but he had little help. Iowa State got outrebounded 50-47
and had 17 turnovers while shooting only 36 percent to finish its
surprising run back to the tournament.
"I don't know what the future holds," Homan said. "I'd love
to keep playing basketball some way, somehow, but if not, I'll get
my degree and move on."
Midway through the first half, freshman Quentin Thomas became
the ninth North Carolina player to take the floor when he gave
Felton a quick breather. The Cyclones had to rely on six, much as
they had all season, and Homan and Stinson each ended up playing 38
"I think depth has an effect on every game," Roy Williams
said. "When we sub, there's a lot of ways that our team gets
The margin could have been much larger if the Tar Heels had made
their free throws. They were only 22-for-37 (60 percent), but it
"They're just deep, that's what makes them really good,"
Stinson said. "We're just proud we made it this far, it means a
lot to the team. There are still a lot of people who don't
recognize Iowa State, but we'll be back."