Top-seeded North Carolina needed overtime to defeat 13th-seeded Ohio 73-65 and avoid an upset in the men’s national college basketball tournament.
Tyler Zeller had 20 points and 23 rebounds for the Tar Heels (32-5) in the Midwest Regional semifinals at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. North Carolina will play either Kansas or North Carolina State in the regional final.
Walter Offutt had 26 points before fouling out in overtime for the Bobcats (29-8). Offutt scored on a layup with 26 seconds remaining in regulation time to tie the game at 63-63 and then missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play and given Ohio the lead.
The Tar Heels were playing without starting point guard Kendall Marshall, who fractured his right wrist earlier in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
In the South Regional, third-seeded Baylor (30-7) opened the game with a 22-4 run and never trailed in its 75-70 win against Xavier to reach the regional final against either top-seeded Kentucky or No. 4 Indiana.