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UNC tops Arkansas to advance to Sweet 16

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- North Carolina scored the final 12 points to beat Arkansas 72-65 and avoid an upset Sunday night in the NCAA Tournament's second round at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Isaiah Hicks scored six of the points in the winning spurt, sending North Carolina to the Sweet 16 for the 22nd time since 1985. The Tar Heels eliminated the Razorbacks in the second round for the second time in three seasons and third time overall (also in 2008).

North Carolina (29-7), the top-seeded team in the South Region, will play fourth-seeded Butler on Friday night in Memphis, Tenn.

45 PHOTOS
Inside the second round of March Madness, 2017
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Inside the second round of March Madness, 2017
Mar 16, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; General view of a March Madness basketball prior to the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Xavier Musketeers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers forward Elijah Macon (45) and forward Nathan Adrian (11) pressure Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Bonzie Colson (35) in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center. West Virginia won 83-71. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers forward Elijah Macon (45) reacts after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center. West Virginia won 83-71. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Matt Ryan (4) reacts after a loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center. West Virginia won 83-71. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; The West Virginia Mountaineers bench reacts in the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center. West Virginia won 83-71. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Tarik Phillip (12) shoots against Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Bonzie Colson (35) in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 18: Vitto Brown #30 of the Wisconsin Badgers and Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats go after a rebound during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 18: Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats drives to the basket against Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 18: Teammates Bronson Koenig #24 and Zak Showalter #3 of the Wisconsin Badgers try to steal the ball from Eric Paschall #4 of the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 18: Donte DiVincenzo #10 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts after a play against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 18: Head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats walks off the court after being defeated by the Wisconsin Badgers 65-62 during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 18, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Mar 18, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) reacts in the second half against the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
March 18, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Northwestern Wildcats forward Vic Law (4) reacts during the 79-73 loss against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
March 18, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Killian Tillie (33) reacts during the 79-79 victory against the Northwestern Wildcats in the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
March 18, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) shoots against Northwestern Wildcats forward Vic Law (4) during the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
March 18, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) reacts after he scores a basket against Northwestern Wildcats forward Vic Law (4) during the first half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Trevon Bluiett #5 of the Xavier Musketeers follows through on his shot against the Florida State Seminoles in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Xavier Rathan-Mayes #22 of the Florida State Seminoles shoots against Malcolm Bernard #11 of the Xavier Musketeers in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Sean O'Mara #54 of the Xavier Musketeers shoots against Jarquez Smith #23 of the Florida State Seminoles in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Michael Ojo #50 of the Florida State Seminoles fights for the ball against Trevon Bluiett #5 and Kaiser Gates #22 of the Xavier Musketeers in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Tyler Lewis #1 of the Butler Bulldogs dribbles the ball while being guarded by Antwain Johnson #2 of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonthan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Antwain Johnson #2 of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders attempts a shot while being guarded by Avery Woodson #0 of the Butler Bulldogs in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonthan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Aldonis Foote #45 of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders walks off the court after losing to the Butler Bulldogs 74-65 during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Avery Woodson #0 and Kelan Martin #30 of the Butler Bulldogs celebrate after beating the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 74-65 during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: JaCorey Williams #22 of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders walks off the court after losing to the Butler Bulldogs 74-65 during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Allonzo Trier #35 of the Arizona Wildcats attempts a layup defended by Dane Pineau #22 of the St. Mary's Gaels during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Tanner Krebs #00 of the St. Mary's Gaels is defended by Rawle Alkins #1 of the Arizona Wildcats as Head coach Sean Miller looks on during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Lauri Markkanen #10 of the Arizona Wildcats is defended by Evan Fitzner #21 of the St. Mary's Gaels during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Calvin Hermanson #24 of the St. Mary's Gaels attempts a lay up against the Arizona Wildcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: The Arizona Wildcats react against the St. Mary's Gaels during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Kadeem Allen #5 of the Arizona Wildcats attempts a shot defended by Evan Fitzner #21 of the St. Mary's Gaels during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
March 18, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Arizona Wildcats center Dusan Ristic (14) reacts with guard Kadeem Allen (5) and guard Rawle Alkins (1) against the Saint Mary's Gaels during the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Kasey Hill #0 of the Florida Gators drives against London Perrantes #32 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Devin Robinson #1 of the Florida Gators looks to pass against Mamadi Diakite #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: The mascots for the Florida Gators and Virginia Cavaliers perform in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Jack Salt #33 of the Virginia Cavaliers goes up for a shot against Kevarrius Hayes #13 of the Florida Gators in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 18: Gorjok Gak #12 of the Florida Gators dunks against Jack Salt #33 and Marial Shayok #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 18, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Florida players Canyon Barry, left, and Gorjok Gak celebrate after a 65-39 win against Virginia during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Florida's Chris Chiozza, left, and Devin Robinson, right, celebrate after a 65-39 win against Virginia during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Isaac Haas #44 of the Purdue Boilermakers dunks the ball while being guarded by Solomon Young #33 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Isaac Haas #44 of the Purdue Boilermakers blocks a shot attempt by Darrell Bowie #10 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Deonte Burton #30 of the Iowa State Cyclones dribbles the ball whlie being guarded by P.J. Thompson #11 of the Purdue Boilermakers in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Vince Edwards #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers dunks the ball past Darrell Bowie #10 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Vince Edwards #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers handles the ball while being guarded by Nazareth Mitrou-Long #15 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Kennedy Meeks scored 16 points and Justin Jackson added 15 for the Tar Heels. Joel Berry, whose status was somewhat in doubt prior to the game because of an ankle injury suffered Friday, ended up with 10.

Daryl Macon's 19 points and Anton Beard's 10, both off the bench, led eighth-seeded Arkansas (26-10).

Arkansas went ahead 47-46 with 13:05 remaining, wiping out what had been a 17-point hole..

The Razorbacks made five of their first eight 3-point attempts in the second half.

With a chance to build on a three-point lead, Arkansas scored on only one of five possessions during a stretch that ended with a turnover at the 3:43 mark.

But Jaylen Barford scored on a reverse layup in transition for a 65-60 Arkansas edge.

North Carolina scored the rest of the points. Meeks converted on a tip-in as the shot clock was about to expire for a three-point led.

Arkansas' Moses Kingsley missed two foul shots with 25.2 seconds to play. At the other end, Berry missed the front end of a 1-and-1 before Beard's potential 3 bounced high off the rim.

North Carolina, which scored the game's first eight points, led 38-33 at halftime.

The early lead grew to 25-11 by the 8:19 mark, resulting in the second Arkansas timeout of the half. Tony Bradley had seven of North Carolina's points off the bench.

After trailing by as many as 17, Arkansas scored on seven straight possessions to pull within 32-28. The Tar Heels converted on their next three chances, but the momentum had been dashed.

The Razorbacks had 10 first-half turnovers, but mostly weathered North Carolina's 14 offensive rebounds before the break.

Arkansas came back from double-digit deficits to win six times this season, and was on the verge of doing it again.

Kingsley, the Arkansas scoring leader, missed his first five shots and had two points at the half. He finished with nine points.

NOTES: Six of North Carolina's players took part in the Tar Heels' 87-78 second-round victory against Arkansas two years ago at Jacksonville, Fla. ... North Carolina junior F Justin Jackson's 3-pointer in the opening minutes gave him 96, setting a single-season school record. ... Arkansas was trying to make the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996. ... With 11 victories on the road or on neutral courts, Arkansas had the most success in that category in 22 seasons. ... North Carolina is 57-11 all-time as a No. 1 seed.

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