UNC Archive

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Fun, fun, fun as Tar Heels team wins by 50

It was a team win, a team blowout. Fourteen North Carolina players scored, with six in double figures, as the Tar Heels wore out Tennessee Tech 108-58 in Chapel Hill. With the game in control after a 17-2 run that put the Heels up by 25 in the first half, the largest cheers came late in the game with the subs in. Freshman Leaky Blake drained a three from the left corner to get the Heels within a point of the century mark. And then Brandon Huffman slammed home a one-handed dunk to make it 101-54 to send the crowd […]

It was a team win, a team blowout. Fourteen North Carolina players scored, with six in double figures, as the Tar Heels wore out Tennessee Tech 108-58 in Chapel Hill.

With the game in control after a 17-2 run that put the Heels up by 25 in the first half, the largest cheers came late in the game with the subs in. Freshman Leaky Blake drained a three from the left corner to get the Heels within a point of the century mark. And then Brandon Huffman slammed home a one-handed dunk to make it 101-54 to send the crowd into a frenzy.

Local Bojangles stores offer a buy one, get one free biscuit on days after the Tar Heels score 100 points. For some unknown reason, that really fires up the fans. They also like to see rarely used players score. Walker Miller scored on a half hook and K.J. Smith, son of Tar Heel great Kenny Smith, went in for a fastbreak dunk to finish up the scoring.

The player of the game may have been a player who wasn’t one of the six in double figures. Seventh Woods scored just seven but he dished out eight assists and didn’t commit an turnover.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can score,” Woods said. “If I get them the ball, I have a good chance at getting assists.”

It was the no turnovers that fired up UNC coach Roy Williams, who mentioned it early in his news conference.

But Coach Williams expected a big win. “We’re more blessed so we should win this kind of game,” he said of the game against 0-4 Golden Eagles. “But I’m pleased with the way we played.”

For more on the game and a box score, please click here.

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Tar Heels click early to put away Stanford

North Carolina, already up by double figures early, hit 14 of its last 18 shots in the first half to build a 26-point halftime lead and went on to coast to a 90-72 win over Stanford at home. (11/12) The Tar Heels never trailed as they got off to a 7-0 early with Kenny Williams, Carolina’s senior sharpshooter who had not scored in the first two games, hitting a three-point shot. After Carolina freshman Nassir Little sank a 15-footer to put the Heels up 22-11 niway through the half, Stanford never got the deficit to single digits. Up 33-20, UNC […]

North Carolina, already up by double figures early, hit 14 of its last 18 shots in the first half to build a 26-point halftime lead and went on to coast to a 90-72 win over Stanford at home. (11/12)

The Tar Heels never trailed as they got off to a 7-0 early with Kenny Williams, Carolina’s senior sharpshooter who had not scored in the first two games, hitting a three-point shot.

After Carolina freshman Nassir Little sank a 15-footer to put the Heels up 22-11 niway through the half, Stanford never got the deficit to single digits.

Up 33-20, UNC went on a 19-6 run to close out the half in control 52-26. The run was highlighted by a high lob by Seventh Woods that was thrown in powerfully by Little and a nifty give-and-go where Cam Johnson scored on a pass from Williams.

The Heels shot a blistering 60 percent in the first half while holding a cold-shooting Cardinal to 35 percent. But in the second half, the shooting reversed as Carolina managed just 39 percent while Stanford shot 57 percent.

The second half, which saw Stanford outscore Carolina by eight points, left a bad taste in UNC coach Roy Williams mouth.

For more on that and for a box score, please click here.

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Roberts’ blast puts Carolina up for good in Game 1 of Super Regional

CHAPEL HILL – UNC’s Cody Roberts blasted a three-run homerun to left in the fifth inning to put the Tar Heels up for good as the home team held on to defeat Stetson in the first game of a best-of-three series in the NCAA Super Regional. The 7-4 victory puts the Heels one win away from the NCAA Championship tournament in Omaha, Neb. Stetson, riding the nation’s longest win streak at 18 games, got off to a quick 1-0 in the first inning with a line-drive homer to right by lefty Mike Spooner. Carolina answered in the bottom of the […]

CHAPEL HILL – UNC’s Cody Roberts blasted a three-run homerun to left in the fifth inning to put the Tar Heels up for good as the home team held on to defeat Stetson in the first game of a best-of-three series in the NCAA Super Regional. The 7-4 victory puts the Heels one win away from the NCAA Championship tournament in Omaha, Neb.

Stetson, riding the nation’s longest win streak at 18 games, got off to a quick 1-0 in the first inning with a line-drive homer to right by lefty Mike Spooner.

Carolina answered in the bottom of the inning when Roberts scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Riley off Stetson’s best pitcher Logan Gilbert, who came into the game 11-1 and who was just drafted in the first round of the MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners.

Watch highlights of the game.

Neither team got much going again until the fifth as the Heels struck with two outs. First, Kyle Datris singled and then Michael Busch walked setting up Roberts heroics. Roberts homer landed well up the net in left field and he proceeded to fly around the basepaths to get to the celebratory arms of his teammates at home plate.

Stetson struck twice in the top of the 7th inning on just one hit to make things interesting. The Hatters scored on a bunt that Datris misplayed to first and on a wild pitch my Josh Hiatt to draw within a run at 4-3.

But the Tar Heels came right back in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Datris was hit by a pitch before Busch launched a towering homerun to right to get the two runs right back. Gahagan later drew a bases-loaded walk to put the Heels up more comfortably at 7-3.

After Hiatt got Stetson out three-up and three-down in the eighth, the Tar Heel faithful, already suffering through 85-degree weather, got a little hotter in the ninth. With two outs, Hiatt, normally the closer who came in to pitch in the seventh, walked a batter, hit a batter and gave up a sharp single as the Hatters drew to 7-4 with the tying run coming to the plate.

Carolina skipper Mike Fox lifted Hiatt for Austin Bergner, who came on looking for his first save of the season. But Bergner made things even more interesting as he gave up a walk to load the bases, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of first-team All-America player Brooks Wilson.

Wilson sliced a long line drive to left that looked like it could make it to or over the fence but left fielder Ashton McGee caught up to in on the run to end the game.

“It’s always nice to win the first one,” UNC’s Fox said. “It puts their backs against the wall tomorrow.”

Fox said that obviously the two homeruns were big. He pointed to the three-run seventh as a key to victory. “It was important to come right back after they had just scored two (to get within a run,” he said.

Carolina starter and winning pitcher Cooper Criswell threw a lot of pitches through the first three innings but got Stetson to go down in order in the fourth and fifth before he exited with a 4-1 lead.

North Carolina has a chance to lock up its first visit to the World Series since 2013 Saturday at noon.

Box Score

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Carolina rights ship, wins going away

Underdog Lipscomb led No. 2 seed North Carolina by six in the first half before the Tar Heels settled down and wore down the No. 15 seed winning going away 84-66 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte. “We needed to get our feet wet,” UNC’s Theo Pinson said. “When we got going, we got going.” Carolina used a stifling defense and some timely three-point shooting to go on a pair of first-half runs to right the ship. A 13-2 run, highlighted by three pointers from Luke Maye and Kenny Williams took the Tar Heels from six […]

Underdog Lipscomb led No. 2 seed North Carolina by six in the first half before the Tar Heels settled down and wore down the No. 15 seed winning going away 84-66 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte.

“We needed to get our feet wet,” UNC’s Theo Pinson said. “When we got going, we got going.”

Carolina used a stifling defense and some timely three-point shooting to go on a pair of first-half runs to right the ship. A 13-2 run, highlighted by three pointers from Luke Maye and Kenny Williams took the Tar Heels from six down to five ahead.

After falling behind again, the Tar Heels went on a 12-1 run over the last 3:44 of the first half to take command at 43-34.

A long three pointer by Cam Johnson to start the second half put Carolina up double digits and Lipscomb never threatened again.

Johnson said the Tar Heels let Lipscomb stay in the game with some turnovers, 11 in the first half and 18 over all. “It’s a 40-minute game, not a five-minute game,” he said. “Things started turning our way.”

Pinson was the sparkplug as he dished out a game-high seven assists, hauled in nine rebounds and scored 15 points, including two coast-to-coast layups.

Williams led all scorers with 18 points as he hit four of five three pointers. All five Tar Heel starters scored in double figures with Berry, Johnson and May adding 14, 12 and 10.

Defensively the Heels wanted to hold the three-point shooting percentage down and they did that as Lipscomb hit just 25 percent from beyond the arc and 35 percent altogether. Carolina also outrebounded Lipscomb 47-29.

The second half lead stayed around 15 points most of the time but an eight-foot Garrison Brooks hook gave the Heels a 19-point lead with five minutes left. Then, with the subs in for the last minute, Shea Rush stole a pass in the open court and went in for a dunk, to the delight of the players on the bench, to give Carolina its biggest lead of the game at 84-61.

The Tar Heels, now 26-10, now play a tough, big Texas A&M team in the second round Sunday.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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UVA plays its game to take title over UNC

A deliberate Virginia kept North Carolina a step behind the whole game as the Cavs won their third ACC Tournament Title with a 71-63 victory. The Tar Heels, playing their fourth game in four days, didn’t have enough to get by No. 1 Virginia as the Cavs stuck to their script by slowing the pace, playing tough defense and hitting free throws. Carolina, trailing 34-30 at the half, had a couple of opportunities to tie or take the lead in the second half but could not make the plays. Meanwhile tourney MVP Kyle Guy, who scored 16, did make the […]

A deliberate Virginia kept North Carolina a step behind the whole game as the Cavs won their third ACC Tournament Title with a 71-63 victory.

The Tar Heels, playing their fourth game in four days, didn’t have enough to get by No. 1 Virginia as the Cavs stuck to their script by slowing the pace, playing tough defense and hitting free throws.

Carolina, trailing 34-30 at the half, had a couple of opportunities to tie or take the lead in the second half but could not make the plays. Meanwhile tourney MVP Kyle Guy, who scored 16, did make the plays to keep the Heels at bay.

Guy scored six points, including a couple of long twos after nifty moves, during a 10-3 Virginia run that turned the Heels away for good after they had cut the margin to two.

A 7-0 Carolina run, highlighted by a Berry three from the top of the key, cut a nine-point UVA lead to two at 48-46. After one of just four Virginia turnovers, the Heels had a chance to tie or take the lead. But Berry threw it away well over Theo Pinson’s head.

Then, down 50-47, the Tar Heels had a chance to tie it but Luke Maye, who led all scorers with 20 points, was short on a three-point attempt.

After the 10-3 Virginia run, Carolina never got it closer than five points as the Cavs, who hit 20 of 22 free throws, put the Heels away at the free throw line.

“I felt like we hung in there but you’ve got to do better against Virginia than just hanging in there,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “They’re really good. We had to play really, really well and we didn’t do that.”

UVA coach Tony Bennett said that his team has an “uncommon chemistry” but it wasn’t lost on him that Carolina may have been a tired team. “I don’t know if we were fresher but we tried to wear ’em down – four games in four days.”

While the Tar Heels played better than they did in the regular season matchup with the Cavs, they couldn’t find the magic they had in tournament wins over Syracuse, Miami and Duke.

For instance, Pinson, who had a career-high 25 points earlier in the tourney, was just one of 10 from the field in this one, including missing all three of his three point attempts. Cam Johnson, who had been scoring in double figures each game, played only 22 minutes due to a sore back and managed only one basket in three attempts.

Joining Maye in double figures for the Heels were Berry, who scored 17, and Kenny Williams, who scored 12.

Maye and Pinson joined UVA’s Guy and Devon Hall, and Duke’s Marvin Bagley on the All-Tourney team.

The Tar Heels, now 25-10, are likely to get a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament while Virginia, 31-2, is almost assured a No. 1 overall seed.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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Tar Heels work up big lead, hold on to stop Duke

North Carolina worked up a 16-point lead with a pair of runs in the second half but had to hold on to survive a late 13-0 Duke run to make it to the ACC Championship game and take the season series against the Devils, 74-69. “I have nothing to say about the last five minutes,” UNC coach Roy Williams said joking that an assistant coach was coaching during that time. “It was just sloppy… But we made enough plays. We’re still playing so I’m happy.” Coach Williams said for most of the game the Tar Heels were making key shots […]

North Carolina worked up a 16-point lead with a pair of runs in the second half but had to hold on to survive a late 13-0 Duke run to make it to the ACC Championship game and take the season series against the Devils, 74-69.

“I have nothing to say about the last five minutes,” UNC coach Roy Williams said joking that an assistant coach was coaching during that time. “It was just sloppy… But we made enough plays. We’re still playing so I’m happy.”

Coach Williams said for most of the game the Tar Heels were making key shots and playing well defensively.

Carolina forced 18 Blue Devil turnovers.

“Turnovers hurt us, and their offensive rebounding,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said adding that his team showed what it was made of over the last six minutes. “We had a chance but we needed to do that earlier.”

The Tar Heels upped a five-point halftime margin to double figures when Theo Pinson, who was hindered with foul trouble, scored on an up-and-under shot to put the Heels up 54-43.

A Kenny Williams three midway through the half extended the lead to 14 at 62-48. Carolina got its biggest lead of the game on a short jumper by Luke Maye that made it 72-56 with 5:31 to go.

But then Carolina went cold and Duke, in desperation mode, forced four UNC turnovers in five possessions. All the while the Devils were scoring on the offensive end. A Grayson Allen three cut it to 72-66 with a three from the corner with 1:48 left. After Maye turned the ball over with a minute left, Duke’s Gary Trent popped in a three with 50 seconds left to bring the Devils to within three at 72-69.

Maye turned it over yet again with 23 seconds left but UNC’s Williams drew a charge on Duke’s Allen with 18 seconds left. Carolina gave it right back to Duke when Theo Pinson, who was double teamed, lost the ball out of bounds with 11.8 left.

Allen, leaning in to try to draw a foul, missed a three and Pinson got the rebound with 3.2 left. He was immediately fouled. Pinson, facing a one-and-one situation, hit two free throws to wrap it up and give the Tar Heels their first points in nearly five and a half minutes.

After a slow start to the game by both teams, Carolina’s Cam Johnson, Joel Berry and Kenny Williams all drained threes in one minute of game action to give the Heels a 13-3 lead five minutes in.

The Tar Heels extended that lead to 13 before Duke, which started two of 10 shooting with seven turnovers, got hot fueled by five blocked shots.

The Devils, on an 8-0 run, took the lead at 27-26 on a Marvin Bagley hook with less than two minutes left in the half. But after a long Berry three gave Carolina the lead back, the Heels worked the lead up to seven before settling for a 36-31 halftime lead.

During that late run, Grayson Allen was Grayson Allen and picked up a flagrant foul when he poked his butt out to knock down Garrison Brooks, who hit both free throws.

Brooks, off the bench, scored 10 points but the Tar Heels were led by Maye’s 17 points and 10 rebounds. Berry scored 13 while Williams and Cam Johnson added 10 each as five Tar Heels scored in double figures.

Trent led four Blue Devils in double figures with 20 points.

The Tar Heels, now 25-9 overall, play Virginia for the ACC Tournament Championship Saturday night. Duke goes into the NCAA Tournament with a 26-7 record.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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UNC’s Pinson takes over to avenge Senior Night loss

The career of North Carolina’s Theo Pinson may be coming to an end but not before settling some scores and playing some of his best basketball. An intense, aggressive Pinson scored a career-high 25 points to defeat Miami in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals 82-65. “I remembered that they stole my Senior Night,” said Pinson, who also had 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Carolina, which didn’t score over the first seven minutes of the game, came from a 14-0 deficit to avenge the Tar Heels’ last-second loss on Senior Night nine days earlier. UNC coach Roy Williams substituted his […]

The career of North Carolina’s Theo Pinson may be coming to an end but not before settling some scores and playing some of his best basketball. An intense, aggressive Pinson scored a career-high 25 points to defeat Miami in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals 82-65.

“I remembered that they stole my Senior Night,” said Pinson, who also had 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Carolina, which didn’t score over the first seven minutes of the game, came from a 14-0 deficit to avenge the Tar Heels’ last-second loss on Senior Night nine days earlier.

UNC coach Roy Williams substituted his entire starting five and backup Seventh Woods promptly scored five straight points after the Heels had missed their first 13 shots including going zero for seven from beyond the arc.

Coach Williams said the subs calmed the game down a bit and turned out to be a huge point in the game.

Pinson agreed and even told the subs that he credited them for the win. “Those five settled us down,” Pinson said. “We were rushing, antsy that the ball didn’t fall for us… We’ve been there before so we knew we’d make a run.”

Amazingly the Tar Heels were able to erase the deficit and take their first lead on a Brandon Robinson three with just under six minutes left in the first half. Miami recaptured the lead but Carolina was able to take a halftime lead after Lonnie Walker fouled Cam Johnson as he was putting up a desperation heave at the buzzer. Johnson hit all three free throws to give UNC a 32-31 halftime lead.

The lead went back and forth, and the game was tied at 50-all midway through the second half. A 14-6 run gave Carolina an eight-point cushion at 64-56 with under seven minutes to play. A Pinson pass to Joel Berry, who hit a three from the left corner, and a Pinson three at the end of the shot clock highlighted the run.

Pinson, who failed to average double figures during the regular season, has been known more as a distributor than a scorer. But he’s been shooting more as of late. “I’ve been taking what the defense gives me,” Pinson said. “I have the ball in my hands a lot… If they’re not going to play me, I’m going to take it.”

After Miami had cut the lead to 69-65 with 3:50 left, Pinson did indeed take it. He went coast to coast, taking it to the hoop for a thunderous two-handed dunk down the lane. The Hurricanes never scored again as the Heels went on a 13-0 run to win going away.

Cam Johnson scored 11 of his 13 points over a five-minute period just before the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second half. Joining Johnson and Pinson in double figures were Berry and Kenny Williams, who each scored 11.

Ja’Quan Newton, who has hit half of his three point shots on the year against the Tar Heels including the dagger on Senior Night, led Miami with 17 points.

The Tar Heels, now 24-9 overall, play rival Duke in the ACC Tournament’s semi-finals Friday at 9:30 p.m.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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UNC, with heavy hearts, wears out Syracuse

The UNC players wore “Woody” on the back of their warmups and then went and wore out Syracuse 78-59 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Brooklyn, New York. (3/7) On a day that Tar Heel Nation was mourning the loss of former legendary play-by-play radio announcer Woody Durham, Carolina took care of Syracuse in a game that UNC coach Roy Williams said might have been the team’s best effort of the year. “Defensively, it was one of our best games of the year if not the best,” Coach Williams said despite Syracuse hitting five of its first six three-point […]

The UNC players wore “Woody” on the back of their warmups and then went and wore out Syracuse 78-59 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Brooklyn, New York. (3/7)

On a day that Tar Heel Nation was mourning the loss of former legendary play-by-play radio announcer Woody Durham, Carolina took care of Syracuse in a game that UNC coach Roy Williams said might have been the team’s best effort of the year.

“Defensively, it was one of our best games of the year if not the best,” Coach Williams said despite Syracuse hitting five of its first six three-point shots.

The Orange stayed in the game with seven three pointers in the first half – this one day after going only four of 17 from the three-point line in the entire game against Wake Forest. Still, Carolina was in control of the game at the half, 39-29.

The Tar Heels upped the margin to 15 early in the second half on a three-pointer by Joel Berry and then to 18 on a three by Kenny Williams from the right corner that made it 51-33.

A brisk-moving fastbreak where four Tar Heels touched the ball on the way up the court ended with a Cam Johnson layup that gave Carolina its biggest margin of the game at 56-35. But then the Tar Heels hit a lull.

Carolina went without a basket for more than six minutes as Syracuse cut into the deficit getting within nine points with just over four minutes to play.

But the Tar Heels ended the game on a 12-2 run that completed a number of long passes that ended in fastbreak baskets.

Williams, who was the recipient of three long passes for buckets in last six minutes, led four Tar Heels in double figures with 17 points to go along with three steals. Senior Theo Pinson scored 16 points and hauled in 11 rebounds while Johnson and Luke Maye added 13 points.

“In the second half we did a better job guarding the three,” Coach Williams said, noting that while Syracuse was 7 of 13 from three in the first half, the Orange was just one of 10 in the second. “Or maybe they were tired.”

Offensively, Carolina was able to do enough to penetrate the Syracuse zone or get the ball up court before Syracuse could set up the defense.

The Tar Heels, now 23-9 overall, play Miami, the team that just ruined Carolina’s Senior Night, in the ACC Tournament’s quarterfinals Thursday at 9 p.m. Syracuse, 20-11, have to wait and hope they did enough to make it to the NCAA Tournament.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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Cold Carolina collapses against hot Duke

A cold-shooting North Carolina team collapsed as Duke drained eight threes in the second half for a come-from-behind 74-64 victory over the Heels. The loss was costly as it dropped the Tar Heels from a second seed to the sixth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. Carolina will also probably face Syracuse, who would have to get by Wake Forest, to get a home crowd advantage at the ACC Tourney, held this year in New York. The loss also likely dropped the Heels from a chance for a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Things looked good for […]

A cold-shooting North Carolina team collapsed as Duke drained eight threes in the second half for a come-from-behind 74-64 victory over the Heels. The loss was costly as it dropped the Tar Heels from a second seed to the sixth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament.

Carolina will also probably face Syracuse, who would have to get by Wake Forest, to get a home crowd advantage at the ACC Tourney, held this year in New York. The loss also likely dropped the Heels from a chance for a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Things looked good for the Tar Heels at the half as they managed to take a 10-point lead into the locker. A 14-4 run at the end of the half, which started with a Luke Maye three and ended with a Kenny Williams three, gave the Heels a 35-25 cushion in Durham on Grayson Allen’s senior night.

In the second half, Carolina upped its margin to 13 on a Cam Johnson long three from the left wing with just under 17 minutes to play.

After that, Tar Heel fans would have been well served to watch something else on TV.

Duke’s Marvin Bagley took over the game for a few minutes to erase the Carolina lead. Bagley scored 10 points over the next five minutes as he aggressively went to the basket and even drained a three from the top of the key.

Gary Trent completed a 23-8 Duke run with a three pointer that put the Blue Devils up 52-50 midway through the second half.

Yet another three (Carolina shot an exhorbitant 31 of them), this one by Williams put the Heels back up 58-57 with 7:25 to go. But it turned out to be Carolina’s last lead of the game.

Allen, who scored 15 points in his senior game, hit a three from the left corner to put Duke up 60-58. Trent hit another three and Wendell Carter hit one and Duke was in control at 70-62 with 3:33 left.

The Devils hit eight of their last 11 three-point attempts. In fact eight of their last 15 baskets were from beyond the arc. Meanwhile Carolina was cold from three-point land. Carolina’s catalyst, Joel Berry, missed all seven of his attempts and the Heels finished just eight of 31.

“We played timid in the second half and I think that’s why the ball didn’t go in like we want it to,” UNC’s Kenny Williams said.

UNC coach Roy Williams seemed to agree but said it differently. “In the second half Duke was much more aggressive than we were,” he said. He added that after back-to-back threes, including one from Bagley, “things started snowballing on us.”

Bagley threw most of the snowballs as he led Duke with 21 points after getting only three in the first half. “Marvin went nuts for a while and put us on his back,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

While Coach Williams would have liked fewer three-point attempts from the Tar Heels, they were missing mid-range open shots as well. “You’ve got to make plays, gotta make shots on big-game days,” he said.

The Tar Heels, now 22-9 overall and 11-7 in the ACC, tied for third in the league but lost tiebreakers with Miami, Clemson and NC State to fall to the sixth seed. Duke goes into the ACC Tourney with a 25-6 record and a No. 2 seed.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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Miami daggers Heels at buzzer on Senior Night

North Carolina came from 16 down to tie the game on a Joel Berry long swished three with four seconds left but Miami stuck a dagger with a 40-foot desperation shot at the buzzer to defeat the Heels 91-88 on Senior Night. Da’Quan Newton scored Miami’s last nine points of the game including the last-second three-pointer that was just a lunge over mid-court. The loss stopped a six-game win streak for the Tar Heels and kept the home team from securing a double-bye in the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels led by as many as eight points in the first […]

North Carolina came from 16 down to tie the game on a Joel Berry long swished three with four seconds left but Miami stuck a dagger with a 40-foot desperation shot at the buzzer to defeat the Heels 91-88 on Senior Night.

Da’Quan Newton scored Miami’s last nine points of the game including the last-second three-pointer that was just a lunge over mid-court.

The loss stopped a six-game win streak for the Tar Heels and kept the home team from securing a double-bye in the ACC Tournament.

The Tar Heels led by as many as eight points in the first half but Miami went on an 18-3 run to take a 28-21 lead.

By the first four minutes of the second half, after a rash of Carolina turnovers, Miami had upped the margin to 16 at 59-43.

The Tar Heels, behind three pointers from Cam Johnson and Luke Maye, got back in it quickly with eight points in just over a minute of play.

Carolina cut it to five on a three by senior Theo Pinson midway through the second half but Miami worked the lead back up to 11 with less than six minutes to go and things looked dim for the Heels.

Berry, the ACC’s top free throw shooter, uncharacteristically missed three free throws but came through from three-point land late. Over the next three minutes, Berry hit three threes to draw the Miami lead to two with 2:30 to go.

Maye had a chance to tie it from the line but he only hit one of two. Miami kept the lead with six straight free throws of its own before Berry managed to tie the score with the long, contested three that made it 88-all, setting up Newton’s heroics.

“I really thought we were going to win the game,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “The clock ran out on us.”

While it’s always tough to lose on Senior Night, to lose like that and to put the double-bye in the tournament in doubt, makes this an especially big loss. It makes the game at Duke Saturday night especially big as a loss would probably force the Heels to play early in the ACC Tournament.

Coach Williams said that the Tar Heels had their opportunities but missed layups and free throws hurt them. Berry, who had missed only 10 free throws all year, missed three and Johnson, who missed only four free throws all year, missed two. The Tar Heels missed seven of their 20 free throws.

On the other hand, Miami hit 12 of 13 free throws. Newton, who was one of six Miami players in double figures, came into the game as only a 60 percent free throw shooter but he hit all four of his free throws. He also came into the game hitting only 17 percent of his three pointers and had only hit four all year but he hit perhaps Miami’s biggest three of the year.

“It’s one thing I’ve always dreamed about,” Newton said. “To do it out there against North Carolina is something I’ll always remember.”

So will Carolina seniors Joel Berry, Luke Pinson, Aaron Rohlman and Kane Ma. The latter two, both former JV players, started for the first time. Coach Williams said it was especially disappointing losing on Senior Night. “Senior Night is important to me,” Coach Williams said. “It’s one of the most important things we do.”

Pinson, who had a career-high 11 assists, was especially emotional during a speech before the fans after the game. “This one was tough,” he said. “I wanted this one really bad.”

Berry, who led the Heels with 31 points, including 19 over the last 6:45 of the game, was a bit more upbeat after getting engaged over the weekend. “Don’t count us out,” he said.

The Tar Heels, now 22-8 overall and 11-6 in the ACC, travel to rival Duke Saturday night before heading into the post-season.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.