Virginia is tournament's top seed for first time since 1981. Blue Devils, Tar Heels get seeds 3 and 4 for the 15-team field.
North Carolina beat Duke last month at the Smith Center by using its size advantage to win the rebounding battle and by limiting the best 3-point shooting team in the ACC to 23 percent from behind the arc. Neither of those things happened in the rematch at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night, which is how a Tar Heel team that shot 60 percent from the field lost 93-81.
JABARI PARKER SCORES CAREER-HIGH 30 AS BLUE DEVILS STOP UNC
Freshman Jabari Parker had a season-high 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 4 Duke past No. 14 North Carolina 93-81 Saturday night.
Rodney Hood added 24 points to help the Blue Devils (24-7, 13-5) end the Tar Heels’ 12-game winning streak and clinch the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Duke never trailed, shot 51 percent — 57 percent in the second half — and dominated the ACC’s best team on the glass, outrebounding North Carolina 34-20.
Marcus Paige — who led UNC’s second-half comeback two weeks ago — finished this one with 24 points, while Brice Johnson had 15 and James Michael McAdoo added 13 for the Tar Heels (23-8, 13-5).
They shot nearly 60 percent but couldn’t overcome their disadvantage on the glass and are locked into the No. 4 seed in the league tournament.
Leslie McDonald added 12 points for North Carolina, which was denied its fourth win over a top-five team, but briefly made things tense in the final minutes when Paige converted a four-point play to make it 81-73 with 2:50 left.
But the Tar Heels’ point guard missed 3s on the next two possessions — with Parker blocking the second of those with 2½ minutes left.
Quinn Cook hit two free throws, Amile Jefferson added another and Parker hit two foul shots with 2:03 left to push the lead to 86-73 and effectively end it.
Blue Devils advance to ACC Women's Basketball Tournament championship game against No. 1-seed, No-2 ranked Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (ESPN).
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Guards Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd represent the unbeaten Fighting Irish (29-0) on the first team. Duke had center Elizabeth Williams and guard Tricia Liston. They were joined by North Carolina guard Diamond DeShields, N.C. State’s Markeisha Gatling, Wake Forest’s Dearica Hamby, Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall, Florida State’s Natasha Howard and Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas.
None of the top teams will be playing in Wednesday’s opening round which pits No. 13 seed Clemson vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech (1 p.m., Fox Sports Carolinas), No. 15 Boston College vs. No. No. 10 Virginia (3:30 p.m., FSC) and No. 14 Pittsburgh vs. No. 11 Wake Forest (6:30 p.m., FSC). UNC opens play Thursday, Duke has a double-bye and opens on Friday.
Tar Heels build lead, hold off Fighting Irish rally to claim win on Senior Night
Revamped lineup due to injuried perimeter players still has room for improvement