North Carolina survived a determined effort from Maryland this afternoon at the ACC Tournament, fending off the Terrapins 79-76 to win the season series 3-0. The Tar Heels didn't shoot as well as they did versus Florida State on Friday, but Reggie Bullock and Marcus Paige hit key shots late to fend off a squad desperate to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
N.C. State failed to make Sunday's championship tilt an All-Triangle affair. The Wolfpack battled gamely versus top seeded Miami, but the Hurricanes created sufficient separation to fend off their challenger 81-71. Miami's starting backcourt dominated the scoring and responded positively to each NCSU run.
Tomorrow afternoon, UNC will attempt to win its first conference tournament crown since 2008. Miami previously outlasted the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill and then embarrassed them in Coral Gables last month. For UNC, then, the contest represents an opportunity both to reclaim some pride as well as win the conference tournament hardware.