Hansbrough leads top seed UNC to easy win

Hansbrough leads top seed UNC to easy win

Published Mar. 20, 2009 7:30 a.m. ET

Tyler Hansbrough heard the roar of the crowd and knew he had just become the leading scorer in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

UNC rolls

Video: Hear from North Carolina after routing Radford and improving to 26-1 all-time in NCAA games played in its home state.

His response? Just run down court and get back on defense.

"I thought about waving," he said, "but I just wanted to stay focused on the game."

Whether he liked it or not, Hansbrough's latest record overshadowed North Carolina's 101-58 win over Radford to open the NCAA tournament on Thursday. He finished with 22 points despite a bad shooting day, part of an overwhelming performance by the top-seeded Tar Heels in the first step in what they hope will be a return to the Final Four.

Wayne Ellington had 25 points for the Tar Heels (29-4), who led the entire way and had no trouble beating the 16th-seeded Highlanders even with point guard Ty Lawson, who missed his third straight game with a toe injury.

It was another easy tournament opener for the Tar Heels in their home state, where they are 26-1 in NCAA games with the past 11 victories coming by double-digit margins. They next face LSU on Saturday in the South Region.

Playing about an hour drive from its Chapel Hill campus, North Carolina enjoyed a huge home-crowd advantage and built a 19-point halftime lead against Radford (21-12). The Tar Heels steadily increased the margin from there, cracking the 100-point mark in their NCAA opener for the second straight season.

"We played the first half really, really well," coach Roy Williams said. "The pace of the game, and the number of big guys that we could run in there perhaps tired them out a little bit. That's what we try to do all the time, try to make the pace and stamina a question mark."