It was a far cry from previous year in Los Angeles, when the fifth-seeded Aggies fell behind early against 12th-seeded Penn in first-round action. "I just did an interview with (former Georgetown coach John Thompson) and he said it may be the biggest team he's ever seen".
"I feel like we always have the advantage inside, but their bigs are really talented", Davis said.
North Carolina (26-10), which is the West Region's No. 2 seed, and seventh-seeded Texas A&M (21-12) made it through the opening round unscathed. "Hopefully we can take this and build some momentum from it going into the next one".
"I don't think we played well", Providence coach Ed Cooley said. From there, Texas A&M asserted it's physicality and a huge advantage in the paint to take a 73-69 win over Providence in advancing to the Round of 32. A&M pulled down 44 rebounds to just 25 for Providence, and the Aggies also blocked 8 shots.
"We stressed staying together", forward Tyler Davis said of how his team survived its team's shaky start, which included 10 consecutive missed shots. Davis and Williams combined for an incredible 29 rebounds and were 12-of-19 from the field altogether.
Drake (26-8), who had their 21-game win streak snapped, was led by Sara Rhine, who had team-highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. We're playing for a championship.
After the 0-for-10 start, A&M ended up shooting 50 percent for the game.
During their last five games, the Tar Heels have scored an average of 76.2 points per game (5.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.0 points per game (6.9 below their season average). This NCAA venue is the home of the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Jordan. "But we still had a chance to win the game". "I can always remember that".
The Aggies haven't made it past the second round in the past three seasons, the longest stretch of not reaching the Sweet 16 during a run of 13 straight tournament appearances.
Texas A&M is North Carolina's fifth Southeastern Conference opponent in the last 10 second-round games in the tournament.
A&M, which lost to Alabama in the first round of the SEC tournament, will face No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday.
Freshman big man Sterling Manley had a terrific game for the Tar Heels in his first NCAA Tournament action on Friday. The Aggies have never lost in six first-round games at home.
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