ACC live blog: Miami beats UNC for ACC title - WNCN: News, Weather

ACC live blog: Miami beats UNC for ACC title

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -

WNCN is live-blogging the entire ACC Tournament. Here is Sunday's championship game:

3:14 p.m., All-Tournament: Here's the all-tournament team. ... First Team: Shane Larkin, Miami (MVP); Durand Scott, Miami; Reggie Bullock, North Carolina; P.J. Hairston, North Carolina; Dez Wells, Maryland.

Second Team: Olivier Hanlan, Boston College; Julian Gamble, Miami; Trey McKinney-Jones, Miami; Marcus Paige, North Carolina; Scott Wood, NC State.

3:00, p.m., Miami wins: Miami has won this one in decisive fashion, pulling away in the final minutes and using brilliant free-throw shooting to an 87-77 victory. 

Carolina played brilliantly, with P.J. Hairston getting 28 points despite eight stitches in his left hand.  Marcus Paige had 17 points for UNC and chipped in five assists.

But ultimately, Carolina just couldn't contain Shane Larkin. The wondrous Miami point guard was the best player on the floor and roared through the UNC defense for 28 points and seven assists. Trey McKinney Jones had 20 points, especially from three-point range as he hit 6 of 9 three pointers.

2:52 p.m., Canes in command: Shane Larkin just hit four free throws and Miami is up 83-74.

2:48 p.m., Larkin rolling: Shane Larkin is really killing UNC. He just scored on a drive, and then Jones had a huge 3 for Miami. The Canes had a bad turnover after that, and Dexter Strickland got an easy basket in transition for Carolina.

But it's still 79-73 Hurricanes and only 1:06 remaining.

2:42 p.m., Miami still ahead: The Hurricanes lead 72-69 and half the ball with 3:47 left. Fantastic basketball game.

2:35 p.m., Miami up: This has been a spectacular game. Miami is up 69-67, and the Heels are trying to slow Shane Larkin with a zone. But both teams have been amazing when it comes to shooting the ball.

Carolina is 13 of 25 from three-point range, and Miami 11 of 19. Hairston has 26 points for UNC and has been brilliant, with a 6 of 11 touch on three-pointers.

2:14 p.m., rebounding: Carolina's P.J. Hairston just got an offensive rebound, and got fouled, to go to the line.

Here's an interesting note - despite Miami's size advantage, the Hurricanes and Heels are tied 21-21 in rebounds. Carolina has nine offensive rebounds and Miami eight.

The reason? Carolina is much quicker to the ball and is running down rebounds.

2:08 p.m., whew!: This just a blistering basketball game! P.J. Hairston has six three-pointers for UNC - six! - and is 6 for 9 from behind the line for 21 points.

But as well as Hairston is playing, Miami's Shane Larkin is playing even better. Larkin has three three-pointers himself, and 17 points, to go with six assists. It's not often that you see a player Carolina just can't guard, but this has been one of those situations. Larkin looks quick and confident, and he has a talented, and strong, team around him.  

Miami now up 63-50.

1:45 p.m., Miami up at halftime: The Hurricanes are leading 44-41 at halftime in what has been a ferocious half of basketball. Isn't it interesting that both of these teams have now played three straight days, but they had much more energy in the first half than N.C. State or Maryland on Saturday? Neither team looks tired in this one. 

P.J. Hairston has been sensational for Carolina, with 15 points and 4 of 7 shooting on three-pointers. That's a crazy effort for a guy who has eight stitches in his left hand. Marcus Paige has 10 points for UNC but Paige has struggled on defense. He had no chance when called on to guard Shane Larkin, forcing Dexter Strickland to take his place, and Carolina is at a disadvantage on defense wherever Paige plays.

James Michael McAdoo (six points) has had a tougher time getting it going against that physical Miami front line, and Reggie Bullock (1 of 7 from the field) hasn't been much of a factor for Carolina.

For Miami, Larkin has been brilliant, with 15 points. ESPN's Dick Vitale keeps saying Larkin should have been player of the year, over Virginia Tech's Erick Green, and frankly, Vitale is right. Green got a ton of points for a bad Hokies team, and Larkin led the Hurricanes to the regular-season title.

Miami has looked to get the ball inside against UNC, but with mixed success.

By the way, this game continues the physical nature of the tournament. There have only been 10 fouls called in the game by the crew of Bryan Kersey, Roger Ayers and Mike Eades.

By the way, Ayers and Kersey called the title game last season.

1:36 p.m., intense game: This game is being played at a blistering pace. North Carolina's P.J. Hairston is banging in some brilliant shots, including a fall-away jumper that had UNC fans roaring.

But the Tar Heels are struggling to slow Miami guard Shane Larkin, whose father, baseball great Barry Larkin, is in the stands. Carolina had freshman Marcus Paige on Larkin, but Larkin was blowing past Paige for easy baskets and easy passes.

So Roy Williams switched Dexter Strickland to him and Strickland has done better, but hasn't cooled him down completely. Larkin backed away from Strickland and knocked down an amazing three-pointer, and the Hurricanes are banging Strickland off multiple screens.

Strickland has had a terrific tournament, and he's a senior leader of the Carolina squad, but he has his hands full at the moment. Right now, Miami is up 39-35.

1:27 p.m., Miami inside: Miami is giving Carolina some trouble inside.  Kenny Kadji just scored after Miami had two other chances, and Carolina is having difficulty with that.

Also, Durand Scott is back in the game, and Scott scored on a running basket and then on a jumper. Miami has blunted a strong UNC run with a run of its own and now leads 24-22.

1:20 p.m., UNC run: North Carolina just spurted out to an 18-12 lead thanks to some sharp shooting, largely from the perimeter. Marcus Paige got it rolling with a three-pointer in transition, P.J. Hairston scored and was fouled and Leslie McDonald tossed in another three.

The trend in this game is clear - Miami is going inside to its burly players, include massive Reggie Johnson, while Carolina is trying to speed up the game and mix in three-pointers with driving baskets. 

1:11 p.m.: Carolina is off to a fast start now, with Reggie Bullock hitting a three-pointer and James Michael McAdoo adding two baskets inside. It's 7-7 now and Miami is trying to punch the ball inside against the smaller Tar Heels.

1:00 p.m., preview: ESPN just called this "South Beach vs. Tobacco Road," and nothing could be further from the truth.

If you've ever been to Coral Gables, you know it's a world apart from South Beach. And the "Tobacco Road" moniker has been dated for two decades - Chapel Hill and the Triangle really represent the New South, and how high-tech, and immigration from other parts of the country, have changed the region in dramatic fashion. You'd be hard-pressed to find much tobacco near the Carolina campus.

But we digress ...

This game really matches Carolina's quickness against Miami's bulk. The biggest factor in this one is likely to be the Tar Heels' defense. UNC looked quick and determined in its two previous wins. If Carolina is moving well on defense, and collapsing on Miami in the post, the Tar Heels can make it tough for the Hurricanes.

 

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