CHARLOTTE, N.C. Wayne Ellington scored 20 points and made key plays late to help the Tar Heels avoid a major scare and a subpar second half from Tyler Hansbrough to beat Davidson 72-68 on Wednesday night.
Trailing for much of the second half, North Carolina (1-0) closed the game strong. Ellington's free throw with 3:44 left put the Tar Heels ahead to stay. His jumper with just over a minute left made it a three-point game. Ty Lawson then hit three of four free throws in the final 30 seconds to preserve the win.
Hansbrough had 14 points and 14 rebounds, but he was ineffective in the second half and got into foul trouble.
Stephen Curry scored 24 points for Davidson (1-1), which nearly became the latest small school to knock off a major school.
With Mercer beating Southern California and Gardner-Webb stunning Kentucky so far, Davidson was bidding to join the early season surprises.
(7) TENNESSEE 101, ARKANSAS-MONTICELLO 44: At Knoxville, Tenn., Tyler Smith scored 15 points and JaJuan Smith added 14 to help Tennessee beat Arkansas-Monticello.
(12) Michigan State 83, Louisiana-Monroe 65: At East Lansing, Mich., freshman Chris Allen scored 17 points and All-American Drew Neitzel had 15 to help Michigan State withstand a 3-point barrage and beat Louisiana-Monroe.
(15) TEXAS A&M 81, UTEP 76: At College Station, Texas, Josh Carter scored 23 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:12 left, and Texas A&M held off UTEP. UTEP got a pair of free throws from Marvin Kilgore before Derrick Roland's layup put made it 73-70.
(25) BUTLER 76, INDIANA STATE 48: At Indianapolis, A.J. Graves scored 26 points and Butler beat Indiana State. Graves shot 8-for-12 and made six 3-pointers.