A 15-0 run for North Carolina gave the Tar Heels the win in the 8-9 game against Villanova, but the Wildcats gave a serious fight before eventually falling short.
It's rare for the 8-9 game to have a near-upset/moral victory feel, but after North Carolina came out and began dominating a less-storied program in the first half, that's the vibe SB Nation's UNC and Villanova blogs seemed to get. The Tar Heels held on for a 78-71 victory, but they weren't exactly pleased with the way the team played. After connecting on 11-of-21 three-point attempts and getting 21 points from P.J Hairson, a seven-point margin of victory seemed too close for North Carolina (via Tar Heel Blog):
Yes, that was much harder than it had to be. This was a very strange game both in how it unfolded and what the final stats show....The great thing about the NCAA Tournament is it doesn't matter how the last game went. All that matters is getting the win and getting the next opponent.
On the other hand, Villanova was disappointed, but loved the effort the team gave after going down early (via VU Hoops):
While 'Nova Nation bemoaned the score, the 'Cats battled backd [sic] admirably, bringing the deficit down to 8 at halftime. A big part of that was the adjustment to defending the 3-point line and feeding JayVaughn Pinkston down low against an overmatched UNC frontline.
Next up for the Tar Heels is Kansas, who struggled with 16-seeded Western Kentucky in their first game of the tournament.