MARCH MADNESS

Mar. 22, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

Triangle women’s basketball teams split their NCAA Tournament openers Saturday, second-seeded Duke routing 15th-seeded Winthrop 87-45 at Cameron Indoor Stadium and N.C. State upset in Los Angeles by BYU 72-57.

The Blue Devils advance to Monday’s Round of 32 and will host seventh-seeded DePaul at Cameron.

In Los Angeles, Brigham Young was a decided underdog to fifth-seeded N.C. State. But from the moment the game tipped off, the Cougars didn’t look the part as the 12 seed upset the Wolfpack 72-57 in the Lincoln Regional.

UNC, which hosts an NCAA Tournament opener against UT Martin at 3 p.m. today at Carmichael Arena (ESPN), got some unexpected news when it learned that veteran coach Sylvia Hatchell, sidelined all season during cancer treatment, would not return to the sidelines today as hoped. Her return date remains uncertain.

In San Antonio, Texas, where No. 6 seed UNC faces No. 3 seed Iowa State today (5:15 p.m., WRAL) in a Round of 32 men’s game, the Tar Heels learned that ISU star Georges Niang, the key player in ISU’s opening round win over N.C. Central Friday night, is out for the game and the season with an injury suffered against NCCU.

UNC coach Roy Williams cautioned that the loss of a star can bring a team together and said UNC has to focus on improving its defense if it hopes to advance to the Sweet 16.