|Posted on March 8, 2018 at 11:35 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The 6th-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels and 3rd-seeded Miami Hurricanes opened up their Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men's basketball tournament quarterfinal match-up with a quiet three minutes and change where no one scored.
Then, at the 16:36 mark, Miami was first on the board, thanks to a layup by freshman guard Chris Lykes.
The Hurricanes would get out to as much as a 14-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game.
North Carolina would score their first points at the 12:51 mark of the first half, ending a drought of over seven minutes, when sophomore guard Seventh Woods completed the old-fashioned three-point play that made it 14-3 Miami.
Including the aforementioned points by Woods, the Tar Heels went on a 7-0 run of their own to cut their deficit in half at 14-7.
With exactly 10 minutes left on the first-half clock, sophomore forward Dewan Huell banked in a jumper to end the unanswered run by North Carolina.
Miami and North Carolina would keep it tight from there, with the Tar Heels taking their first lead of the game at 19-18 off of a three by sophomore guard Brandon Robinson.
The Hurricanes responded immediately when senior guard Ja'Quan Newton rose up for a jumper that gave the lead back to Miami, 20-19.
For as strong as Miami began the game, however, North Carolina was the one in charge down the stretch, ending the first half on a 32-17 run that placed them ahead of Miami 32-31 at the half.
The final moment of the first half was interesting. North Carolina had seemingly had time run out on a heave that was no where close to the basket. But after further review, the officials decided that there was a foul on freshman guard Lonnie Walker, IV, which placed graduate transfer forward Cameron Johnson on the line for three shots. Johnson made all three to give the Tar Heels their 32-31 advantage heading into the locker room.
Within the first seven minutes of the second half, there were eight lead changes and three ties, a complete opposite of how the first half began with the Tar Heels down 14-0 in the initial seven minutes.
The Tar Heels would gain the lead with 12:31 remaining in the game off of a dunk by freshman forward Garrison Brooks that made it 49-47.
Out of a break in the action, Walker added a layup and Newton a three on back-to-back possessions for the Hurricanes, getting them within three of the Tar Heels, 66-63.
But senior forward Theo Pinson would respond to Newton's deep shot with one of his own, moving North Carolina back out to a six-point advantage, 69-63. He would send a reply message to Miami again on a slam that shoot the entire basketball unit with under four minutes to go, a play that gave North Carolina a 71-65 lead.
Junior guard Kenny Williams would attack the rim himself for the Tar Heels, with back-to-back carbon-copy lay-ins that elevated the Tar Heels back to a double-digit advantage, this time at 75-65 with exactly two minutes remaining.
With 44.2 seconds left on the game clock, head coach Roy Williams cleared his bench with the Tar Heels ahead 78-65.
Freshman forward Brandon Huffman and senior forward Aaron Rohlman each scored for North Carolina to close out the contest 82-65 over Miami.
Williams put 15 players on the court in this game, and all but three of them scored. Pinson led all Tar Heels with 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting. His 11 rebounds gave him a double-double on the night. Johnson followed with 13, and Williams and senior guard Joel Berry II both had 11.
Newton led the way for the Hurricanes with 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting. The only other Miami player in double-figures in the game was junior guard Anthony Lawrence II, with 12 points.
Guess who the Tar Heels draw in the ACC Tournament semifinals?
None other than their forever rival, the Duke Blue Devils.