No. 1 seed North Carolina survives to beat Arkansas 72-65

North Carolina's Justin Jackson, left, is trapped by Arkansas' Moses Kingsley, right, and Manuale Watkins, back, during the first half in a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Kennedy Meeks had 16 points and a huge tip-in with 44.2 seconds left to help North Carolina barely avoid a huge upset by rallying to beat Arkansas 72-65 in Sunday’s second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Justin Jackson added 15 points for the Tar Heels (29-7), including the dunk that capped a game-closing 12-0 run by the South Region’s No. 1 seed to help it survive a wild game.

North Carolina led by 17 points after a dominating start, blew that lead and trailed 65-60 with about 3 1/2 minutes left then came up with a response befitting its veteran experience.

Isaiah Hicks came up big late, too, with a dunk and four free throws in the final 2 minutes to help UNC survive.

Daryl Macon scored 19 points to lead the eighth-seeded Razorbacks (26-10), who did everything right in the second half except close out the Tar Heels.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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