North Carolina holds off Duke to advance to ACC title game
09:12, Mar 11, 2018
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North Carolina has lost two of its past four to fall to 24-9 on the season.
The Virginia-North Carolina basketball game will air on ESPN.
North Carolina started throwing full-court pressure, and half-court traps, but the Cavaliers wouldn't cave, committing only three turnovers in the second half.
The Viginia-North Carolina basketball game will be streaming on WatchESPN. That strategy has generally worked against the Heels, as Virginia has won five of the last eight head-to-head matchups, including the lone meeting this year, which came at Chapel Hill. Those schools are Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Duke.
So the Tar Heels will be hyped, minds fixed on revengence, with the knowledge that the season won't end with a loss.
"U-V-A" chants reverberated around the building, and down the coast to Charlottesville, as orange and blue confetti fell to the floor, and the No. 1 team in the nation secured another title.
Devon Hall. There's a reason many thought UVa's senior point guard was the one who deserved First Team All-ACC honors over Kyle Guy.
North Carolina is battle-tested and has proved to be a tough out the past few seasons, avenging last year's loss to the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the ACC tournament semifinals by beating them 74-69 as four-point underdogs on Friday.
NEW YORK-As much as it seemed like North Carolina dumped the ball into the high post easily Friday night, Duke didn't lose the ACC semifinals because of its defense. No. 2 seed Duke will face off against sixth-seeded North Carolina (9 p.m. ET, ESPN), reigniting one of college hoops' biggest rivalries. "They do so much for us behind the scenes, and we're really lucky to have them with us".
Duke still holds a 13-9 edge over UNC in the ACC Tournament but the Tar Heels are now 5-1 in the Barclays Center.
Validation for Virginia this season will come from playing six more games, making a Final Four.
The 1-seed Cavaliers faced off against 4-seed Clemson in the early semifinal.
Virginia beat Duke, 72-63, in the 2014 ACC championship. They also won the battle of tempo in that one, as they controlled the pace and limited the Heels to just 59 offensive possessions, which was by far their lowest of the season. But the sophomore guard, Virginia's leading scorer and a first-team All-ACC selection, started against the Cardinals as expected, wearing a large, black brace on his knee. That would move them within one shy of Duke's 20, which is the most in the conference. Each team won at home, with the Tar Heels winning 82-78 in Chapel Hill on February 8 and the Blue Devils prevailing 74-64 at Cameron Indoor on March 4, the final game of the regular season.
Tony Bennett's defense held Clemson to 34.7-percent from the field, and just 5-for-25 from three. The Cavaliers' 3-point shooting carried them to the ACC title on Saturday. ACC squads failed to score more than 50 points seven times, including two occasions where opponents didn't even reach 40 points versus the Cavaliers.
With the loss, the Hokies are eliminated from the ACC Tournament, but will receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament this weekend. Duke is going to need a big class in 2019, as the revolving door of the one-and-done era continues to spin.
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