ACC Tournament roundup: North Carolina upsets Duke in semis


North Carolina led by as much as 15 points, but unforced errors coupled with Duke's high-octane offense cut the lead all the way to just 72-69. Freshmen Lonnie Walker IV, who was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team, and Chris Lykes struggled, shooting a combined 7 of 25 from the field. But then Roy Williams benched all five of his starters and the wake-up call worked, as the Heels outscored Miami, 82-51, over the next 33 minutes. And they were down by 14 before Woods finally got his team on the scoreboard with an aggressive drive to the rim.

"We played a great game against them in Chapel Hill nine or 10 days ago and were hoping to play that well today, but we really showed our inexperience", Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

"You guys know who we are" added fellow guard Devon Hall.

The Tar Heels will be looking for their 19th ACC Tournament title with their last one coming in that 2016 meeting, a 61-57 win over the Cavaliers in Washington D.C.

The Tar Heels did indeed, winning the NCAA Tournament.

Then, defending national champion North Carolina traveled almost 500 miles to meet its neighbor, snatched the championship of Tobacco Road and shouted how best to prevent its biggest rival from cutting down the nets at the Final Four. I think that the Tar Heels will win the rebounding battle and will win this game as a result. The Cavaliers won the ACC by four games and stifled the Tar Heels in their lone meeting, a 61-49 Virginia victory on January 6 in Charlottesville. Of course, after beating Duke 74-69 on Friday night, UNC may have already done enough to nail down as high as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

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"I think toward the end, we were just trying not to make mistakes and we ended up making mistakes instead of just continuing to be aggressive", North Carolina senior Joel Berry II said.

"They've just got a winner's mentality", junior Cam Johnson said.

"If you make a turnover, you know that you're going down and you're about to play defense for 30 seconds because they keep moving the ball until they get what they want to get", he said. Maye's first shot of the game, at the 15:25 mark of the first half, was blocked by the eventual ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Isaiah Wilkins, and that seemed to set a tone for the day for Maye, who would finish with six points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field in 32 minutes. Williams is averaging 11.4 points per game along with 3.7 rebounds per game. "It was a big, old butt-kicking". As a result, these guards are the veteran leaders on this team and will look to lead the Tar Heels to a huge conference tournament victory on Friday against the school's biggest rival. The team's efforts were boosted by 11 offensive rebounds, and Virginia assisted on 16 of its 28 baskets. Duke has yielded the second-fewest points among major conference teams since February 10 (Virginia, 54.2).

"We've bene through it all, they've definitely been through it all", reserve Shea Rush said. "If you don't continue scoring yourself, it's really, really hard".

Carolina bounced back from the semifinal loss to Duke in 2017 to win the national championship. Virginia, conversely has 20. But with both teams having split two really entertaining regular season matchups, and with both teams putting together such impressive wins in the quarterfinals on Thursday, the 247th head-to-head matchup is especially compelling.