Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - Shane Larkin scored 28 points and handed out
seven assists to help No. 9 Miami-Florida claim its first ever ACC Tournament
title with an 87-77 triumph over North Carolina on Sunday at Greensboro
Trey McKinney Jones buried six 3-pointers en route to 20 points, while Julian
Gamble added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Hurricanes (27-6), who won the
ACC regular-season crown with a 15-3 conference mark.
The Hurricanes will most likely receive a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament,
although their run to the ACC title may be enough to vault them to a top seed.
P.J. Hairston matched Larkin with 28 points, while Marcus Paige poured in 17
points and James Michael McAdoo added 12 for the Tar Heels (24-10), who will
receive an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament when the brackets are released
later on Sunday.
The first half featured six ties and 13 lead changes, the final one
coming with 3:26 left when Durand Scott's layup sparked an 8-0 surge that Rion
Brown capped with a 3-pointer to give Miami a 42-35 cushion.
Paige and Hairston countered with consecutive triples to bring the Tar
Heels within one before Larkin capped his 15-point first half with a floater
in the lane to send Miami into the break holding a 44-41 advantage.
The margin was five, 49-44, early in the second before Hairston knocked down
back-to-back triples around a Gamble dunk to bring the Heels within one.
After Larkin laced a pair of free throws, Paige drained a trey and McAdoo
followed with a dunk to give UNC a 55-53 edge just over five minutes in.
North Carolina's lead was five, 63-58, after consecutive layups from McAdoo,
but Brown answered with a triple at the other end and after Hairston knocked
down two free throws, Larkin knocked down a trey to bring Miami within one.
After Hairston and Gamble exchanged buckets, McKinney Jones nailed a 3-pointer
to put the Hurricanes in front for good.
Three straight points from Gamble pushed the margin to five, but after Dexter
Strickland and Brown each buried two at the charity stripe, Paige knocked down
a midrange jumper to bring the Tar Heels within 74-71.
McKinney Jones provided the final dagger exactly two minutes later, as he
followed a Larkin layup with a triple from the left corner to give Miami a
79-71 cushion with 1:38 remaining.
The Hurricanes were able to seal the victory at the line, as Miami made all
eight of its free-throw attempts over the final minute to hold off the Heels.
Larkin was named tourney MVP ... Miami took all three meetings against North
Carolina this season ... The Hurricanes shot 50.8 percent (30-for-59) from the
field, including a 12-of-22 mark from long range ... North Carolina shot 45.0
percent overall and finished 13-of-29 from distance ... Reggie Bullock
finished with 11 points and seven boards for the Tar Heels.
The Sports Network