NO. 13 UNC WIN IN ACC QUARTERFINALS OVER NO. 8 MARYLAND SETS UP 3RD SHOWDOWN WITH NO. 10 DUKE
Diamond DeShields scored 22 points while fellow freshman Allisha Gray added 17 to help No. 13 North Carolina beat No. 8 Maryland 73-70 in Friday's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Xylina McDaniel added 10 points for the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (24-8), who led all but 5 seconds but still had to fight to put away the Big Ten-bound Terrapins in what turned out to be their final ACC game.
Three-time ACC player of the year Alyssa Thomas scored 24 points and set the career scoring record for third-seeded Maryland (24-6), who erased nearly all of a nine-point deficit in the final 5½ minutes.
But Thomas couldn't quite lead the Terps all the way back, committing a turnover while going for the go-ahead shot in the final minute then missing a 3-pointer for the tie with about 10 seconds left.
UNC advanced to Saturday's semifinals to play No. 10 Duke Saturday, March 8 (7:30 p.m., ESPNU).
There are plenty of reasons for optimism — and concern — on both sides as UNC plays at Duke today (9 p.m., ESPN) in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Elizabeth Williams scored 15 points and blocked five shots, and No. 10 Duke claimed its 37th straight win over Georgia Tech with an 82-52 victory Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.
This could be it for Jabari Parker at Duke. His final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium could come Saturday night when No. 4 Duke hosts rival North Carolina — if the freshman phenom jumps to the NBA after the season, as most outsiders always assumed he would do. In an interview with The Associated Press, Parker insists he still hasn’t made up his mind.
Duke didn’t take time to review film from Wednesday night’s disheartening loss at Wake Forest. That’s part of the moving-on process, sophomore forward and team captain Rodney Hood said Friday on the eve of the Blue Devils' home meeting withrival UNC (9 p.m., ESPN).
UNC COMES BACK TO ELIMINATE WAKE IN 2ND ROUND OF ACC WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT
Freshman Diamond DeShields scored eight points in the final 2:18 to help No. 13 North Carolina pull out a 69-65 victory over Wake Forest in Thursday’s nightcap of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.
DeShields, the only player in double figures for the Tar Heels (23-8), finished with 17 points. Sixth-seeded UNC will face No. 3-seed Maryland today at 8 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas) in the tournament quarterfinals.
“DeShields wants that big shot; she’ll tell you that,” UNC associate head coach Andrew Calder said. “Here’s the bottom line, ... DeShields has made big shots in games that we’ve needed. You’re going to give her the ball at the end, out of loyalty to her, that she’s going to get the job done.
“She wants to be in that moment, and we want her in that moment. ... She wants the ball in her hands.”
Senior backcourt mates Jeremy Ingram and Emanuel Chapman combined for 32 points Thursday night as N.C. Central held off Norfolk State 76-68 in the first meeting between the two MEAC powers in the last two years.
N.C. Central closed out the regular season with a 63-53 MEAC women’s basketball road win at Norfolk State Thursday night.
Senior guard Tricia Liston, the nation’s No. 1 3-point shooter at 50 percent, is No. 10 Duke’s lone player on the Wooden Award ballot, which was released Thursday. She also joined Williams on the all-ACC team that was compiled earlier this week.
Jeff Faris, a former Duke safety who has been a graduate assistant for the last two seasons, is Duke’s new wide receivers coach, Cutcliffe said Thursday.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski supervised Blue Devil practice as usual Thursday even though he was examined at Duke University Hospital less than 24 hours earlier after suffering bouts of dizziness.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski experienced dizziness during a timeout early in the second half of Wednesday night’s game at Wake Forest and did not conduct a his usual post-game press conference.
North Carolina held its first spring practice Wednesday, hoping to keep the momentum from last season’s 6-1 finish that including a Belk Bowl win over Cincinnati.
DUKE WATCHES LEAD EVAPORATE DOWN STRETCH IN 10-POINT LOSS
Tyler Cavanaugh scored a career-high 20 points and Wake Forest pulled away to upset No. 4 Duke 82-72 on Wednesday night.
Travis McKie added 19 points in his final scheduled home game for the Demon Deacons (16-14, 6-11 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Coming off a home loss to sub-.500 Boston College, they shot 46 percent from the field and overcame their largest deficit of the game by scoring 17 straight points and holding Duke without a field goal for 5 critical minutes down the stretch.
Codi Miller-McIntyre had 13 points to help Wake Forest claim its first win over Duke since 2009 and its biggest win since an upset of No. 2 Miami last February.
UNC (22-8, 10-6) enters the ACC Tournament Thursday, March 6 with a No. 13 national ranking in the AP poll but only a No. 6 seed in the ACC and will face an incredibly difficult task if they hope to win their first ACC title since 2008.