GREENSBORO, N.C. — Freshman forward Justin Jackson scored 22 points and No. 19 North Carolina held off No. 3 Virginia, winning 71-67 in an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinal upset on Friday night at Greensboro Coliseum.
Guard Marcus Paige’s 14 points and forward Brice Johnson’s 13 points aided the Tar Heels, who avenged a regular-season loss.
The fifth-seeded Tar Heels shot 54.8 percent from the field, the best mark for any team this season against top-seeded Virginia.
North Carolina (24-10) advances to meet the Notre Dame-Duke winner in Saturday night’s final.
Guard Malcolm Brogdon’s career-high 25 points, with 22 coming in the second half, weren’t enough for the Cavaliers (29-3).
Forward Anthony Gill and guard London Perrantes had 12 points apiece for Virginia, which was trying to repeat its championship from a year ago in the same building.
Virginia has never won an ACC Tournament game against North Carolina in six all-time meetings in Greensboro.
This outcome might damage the Cavaliers’ quest for a No. 1 regional seed in the NCAA Tournament. Virginia has lost two of its last three games.
Down 51-38 with less than 8 1/2 minutes remaining, the Cavaliers were within 58-55 with more than five minutes left when Brogdon canned a 3-pointer. Jackson answered with a 3 amid Virginia’s rally.
Brogdon, who missed eight of his first nine shots from the field, compiled 18 points during an eight-minute stretch.
With North Carolina clinging to a 61-60 edge, Brogdon lost control of the ball for a turnover with 2:14 remaining.
Jackson and Brogdon traded baskets before Paige’s floater in the lane beat the shot clock with 41 seconds left.
Virginia forward Justin Anderson missed a potential tying 3. North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks missed the front end of a 1-and-1 before Brogdon’s 3-pointer was short.
The strong start to the game for North Carolina was buoyed by two freshmen, with Jackson and guard Joel Berry combining for 10 points first-half points.
North Carolina led 30-23 at halftime, though the Tar Heels didn’t score in the last three minutes. During that time, the Cavaliers managed the last four points of the half.
Virginia missed its first six shots from the field, falling behind 8-1, and trailed 12-3 less than 7 1/2 minutes into the game.
North Carolina’s lead grew to 30-19 on its fifth 3-point basket of the half.
The Tar Heels made 4 of 6 from 3-point range in the first 15 minutes and 5 of 9 in the half.
The Cavaliers committed nine first-half turnovers and North Carolina had 11.
Virginia received a boost from reserve guard Marial Shayok, who scored seven points in the first half.
North Carolina used Meeks in the starting lineup. He missed Wednesday’s game against Boston College with illness and came off the bench Thursday against Louisville.
NOTES: This was the first postseason meeting between North Carolina and Virginia since 2003. They hadn’t met in the semifinal round since 1993 — exactly 22 years ago — in Charlotte. North Carol ina won 11 of 14 previous ACC tournament matchups. … The teams met only once during the regular season, with Virginia posting a 75-64 road victory on Feb. 2. … North Carolina was the only one of the four semifinalists who didn’t receive a bye into the quarterfinals, so the Tar Heels played for the third day in a row. … In Thursday’s quarterfinals, North Carolina coach Roy Williams moved alone into 15th place in Division I men’s coaching victories with 747, passing Kansas legend Phog “Doc” Allen. Henry Iba is 14th with 759.
- Lonnie Walker IV Give Insights To His Future With The Lakers
- Lakers Front Office Considering Three Trade Scenariors Ahead of Dec.15
- Warriors forward Draymond Green wants to play 4-5 more years
- Could Tom Thibodeau’s Time With The Knicks Be Ending Soon?
- Nuggets guard Jamal Murray says ‘the confidence is starting to come back’
NBA 1 week ago
NBA Betting Odds And Picks Tonight: NBA Best Bets For Monday 11/21
Main Page 2 weeks ago
WATCH: Giannis Antetokounmpo shoves ladder after loss to 76ers
NBA 1 week ago
Derrick Rose Could Be Traded To ‘Surprise’ Team Emerging With Interest
Headlines 2 weeks ago
Nuggets center Nikola Jokic doubtful against Detroit