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North Carolina Survives Scare By Providence

James Michael McAdoo #43 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots a free throw against the Providence Friars during the closing seconds of the Tar Heels 79-77 win during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at AT&T Center on March 21, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

James Michael McAdoo #43 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots a free throw against the Providence Friars during the closing seconds of the Tar Heels 79-77 win during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at AT&T Center on March 21, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — James Michael McAdoo sank two free throws in the final 3.5 seconds, and No. 6 seed North Carolina rallied to beat 11th-seeded Providence 79-77 Friday night.

Providence’s Bryce Cotton scored a career-high 36 points and made one dazzling shot after another down the stretch. But he also fumbled a long rebound in the final moments, robbing the Friars of a chance for a last-second miracle.

Had North Carolina (24-9) lost, it would’ve been the first time since 1979 the Tar Heels and rival Duke lost on the same day of the tournament.

The Blue Devils fell earlier to 14th-seeded Mercer, and the Friars nearly handed North Carolina a similar stunner.

Marcus Paige led North Carolina with 19 points.

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