The Miami Hurricanes led 14-0 seven minutes into the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, and it looked for a moment like they would have a repeat performance against North Carolina.
But Tar Heels’ Roy Williams, one of the most experienced coaches in the country, subbed out all five of his starters. The defending champions got the message and proved the rest of the night why they are regarded as one of the best offenses in the nation.
Senior and All-ACC Team honorable mention Theo Pinson scored 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead No. 6-seeded UNC past No. 3-seeded Miami 82-65 March 8 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Despite keeping the game close the majority of the second half and trailing by just four points with 3:50 remaining, the Hurricanes failed to score the rest of the way. Meanwhile the Tar Heels, led by Pinson, went on a 13-0 run to close the contest and send the Canes home.
Senior Ja’Quan Newton totaled 17 points and seven rebounds for UM, while Anthony Lawrence II added 12 points. 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. The two led Miami in scoring over ACC play.
For North Carolina, Cameron Johnson had 13 points and seven rebounds. All-ACC first teamer Luke Maye scored just two points and missed 14 of his 15 shots but grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
UNC out-rebounded UM 52-41 and made 18 of 23 from the foul line to make the difference in the win.
In the previous matchup between the two teams on Feb. 27, the Canes won 91-88 off a buzzer-beating, halfcourt shot by Newton to cap off red-hot offensive performances by both teams.
This matchup was sloppier and more physical, with both teams missing a handful of layups, but the Tar Heels did just enough.
North Carolina will play Duke at approximately 9:30 p.m Friday, March 9, in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
Miami, which earned a double-bye going into the tournament, will return home and await NCAA Selection Sunday March 11 to see where it will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament.
– The night started off slow for both teams, with neither squad scoring within the game’s first three minutes.
– Miami quickly turned it around, scoring 14-straight points while North Carolina shot 0 of 13 from the field. The Tar Heels didn’t score until the 12:51 mark of the first half.