7:00 PM ET, March 10, 2006
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- The final box score practically screamed "North Carolina victory." The 10th-ranked Tar Heels shot 51 percent, held Virginia to 28 percent and won the rebounding battle 43-36.Somehow, in a gritty game that had all the rhythm of a wrestling match, it simply wasn't that easy."We understand every game is not going to be pretty, we're not going to always win pretty," forward Reyshawn Terry said. "We just have to step up and be willing to take on the challenge when it comes."No one did it better than him.Terry had 24 points, freshman Tyler Hansbrough added 17 and North Carolina overcame a sluggish start to beat Virginia 79-67 Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament."I loved our toughness," coach Roy Williams said. "They've learned to listen to what I say and not be concerned if the vein in my neck or head is busting or anything like that. I liked our competitiveness, and I think it will help us."David Noel finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Tar Heels (22-6) won their eighth straight and 11th in the past 12 games. This was nothing like their 45-point rout of the Cavaliers last week, when North Carolina used the emotion of Senior Night to post the largest margin of victory in the 95-year history of the rivalry.Still, it was enough to earn a spot in the semifinals against the winner of the Maryland-Boston College game. Wes Miller made three 3-pointers and had 15 points for the Tar Heels."One of the reasons I didn't want to play Virginia was because of what happened nine days ago," Williams said. "If somebody beats me by 45, I'm going to be so fired up it's going to be unbelievable."Point guard Sean Singletary had 29 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double for Virginia (15-14), which can only hope for an NIT bid. J.R. Reynolds scored 20 points despite shooting 3-for-16 from the field, and he and Singletary combined to convert 24-of-26 at the free throw line."It really doesn't matter what type of game I had," Singletary said. "We lost and my season is over, and they're still playing."His coach, Dave Leitao, quickly corrected him."What Sean said, and you didn't hear him, was regular season," Leitao said.The Tar Heels missed seven shots in a row during one stretch of the early going and trailed 14-4 after about 5½ minutes. They responded with a 20-2 run to take control, with the final points coming courtesy of a technical on Leitao.Oddly, his anger came after a missed shot by North Carolina's Danny Green. Referee Bryan Kersey called the technical that led to two free throws from Miller, while Leitao still yelled on the sideline. Assistant coach Rob Lanier got off the bench to stand between his boss and the court, but Leitao wasn't finished.He disgustedly tossed a rubber band on the court when Virginia eventually got possession, and during a media timeout moments later, he glared at Kersey for several seconds before returning to his team's huddle."I was irate and frustrated, and we had an exchange," Leitao said. "We both said some things that probably we shouldn't have said, and I didn't have a whistle to call a 'T' on him, so he called one on me."Perhaps it inspired the Cavaliers. They came back to force the final tie of the game at 24 on two free throws from Reynolds and trailed 39-34 at halftime.North Carolina scored the first six points of the second half for an 11-point lead, and even though Virginia eventually got within four, the outcome never really was in doubt."Like Coach said, on a scale from 1-to-10, we probably played at a 2," Noel said. "We're lucky to get out of here with a win, especially against the caliber of team like Virginia. They definitely had a chip on their shoulder from the last game."Terry narrowly missed his career high of 25 points scored earlier this season at Kentucky, and Miller reached double figures for only the second time in the past eight games. Hansbrough kept doing what he's been doing through all 28 games of his first season.Earlier this week, he became the first freshman to be an unanimous selection to the All-ACC first-team, and he did nothing to disappoint in his first outing since the honor. Hansbrough now has scored at least 14 points in each game except one as he tries to become the first first-year player to lead North Carolina in scoring and rebounding."It was really physical," Hansbrough said. "It was pretty bumpy, and they were double- and triple-teaming me at times. That's when I had to stay within myself and make some pretty good moves."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||17-61 (.279)||25-49 (.510)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-25 (.280)||5-14 (.357)|
|FT Made-Attempted||26-29 (.897)||24-33 (.727)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||26 (1/0)||25 (0/0)|