CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Fitting, isn't it, that one of Michael Jordan's records at North Carolina was surpassed in his own building.
The Spectrum Center, home to Jordan's Charlotte Hornets franchise, was also the site of Friday's opening round NCAA tournament games. Chief among them was UNC's 84-66 victory over Lipscomb in a game the Tar Heels led by as many as 23.
Also notable from that game: UNC's Joel Berry passed Jordan on the program's scoring list (although Berry has played four seasons to Jordan's three). Berry is 13th all-time with 1,792 points.
After the game, Berry told reporters that statistic was something he'd make his children look up one day.
"You're ahead of Michael Jordan in something," UNC coach Roy Williams said after the game. "Lot of guys aren't ahead of Michael Jordan in anything."
Here are some other notes and observations from Friday's NCAA tournament games:
- Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy’s NCAA tournament record is now 4-3 – compiled at schools, including Southeastern Louisiana and Murray State.
- Providence has a good NCAA tournament history in Charlotte, with Friday the first time the Friars lost in the Queen City. They won twice in 1997 (against Marquette and Duke) and in 1973 (Pennsylvania and Maryland).
- A major reason Texas A&M was able to pull away from Providence in the second half was the Aggies’ improving their shooting from 33.3 percent in the first half to 68 percent in the second.
- North Carolina is now 30-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament since the field expanded in 1985. The lone loss came in 1999, when No. 3 seed UNC lost to No. 14 Weber State in its first game.
- Finally, there was a buzzer-beater in the third game of the day, as Kansas State’s Mike Mcguirl buried a deep 3-pointer right before halftime to give his team the 32-26 edge at the break.
- Plenty of former North Carolina players on hand, including Julius Peppers, Phil Ford, Al Wood, Jason Capel, Mitch Kupchak and Kendall Marshall.
- Lipscomb forward Eli Pepper seemed to be enjoying himself, joking on a few occasions during the game with North Carolina’s Luke Maye and Theo Pinson.
- Up 21 over Lipscomb, Pinson had to tell Berry to calm down instead of attacking the defense again. Pinson put his hands up as if to say, “Calm down,” and then burst into laughter.
- Not many thrilling plays in Creighton-Kansas State, but there was one notable three-posession stretch for Kansas State – a 3-pointer (that was so far out, it might as well have been from Gastonia) as the shot clock expired; then a vicious block; then an impressive alley-oop.
- Best mascot accessory goes to the Creighton Bluejay – he made good use of his Heelies, or sneakers with a wheel in the heel, during breaks in the action.
"I've never lost to a building, but this has been very comfortable for us." – UNC coach Roy Williams on playing in Charlotte.
"He can't go between his legs, believe me." – Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy, after Aggies forward Robert Williams said he thought about doing that during a dunk late in the game.