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FSU falls to North Carolina in ACC

GREENSBORO, N.C. — P.J. Hairston scored 21 to help North Carolina defeat Florida State 83-62 in the ACC quarterfinals Friday night.

Hairston made five 3-pointers before leaving late with a cut on his left hand, and Reggie Bullock added 17 points for the third-seeded Tar Heels (23-9). They took control with a 13-0 run early in the second half, made 10 3-pointers and scored 27 points off 18 turnovers to beat the defending champion Seminoles in a rematch of last season's final.

The Tar Heels face seventh-seeded Maryland, which upset No. 2 seed Duke, in their quest for their first tournament title since 2008.

Michael Snaer scored 20 for sixth-seeded Florida State (18-15), which lost all three meetings with the Tar Heels this season, the last two coming by 21 points each.

Hairston, playing in his hometown, made his first four 3-pointers and finished 7-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-6 from behind the arc. But he sustained a cut to the webbing between his middle and ring fingers and left a trail of blood droplets as he checked out of the game. Hairston left the bench area in obvious pain with 4:13 left.

Hairston needed eight stitches for the cut to his nonshooting hand. Coach Roy Williams said he didn't know if Hairston would be able to play today.

The Seminoles advanced to the quarterfinals by holding off 11th-seeded Clemson in the first round Thursday night. But they struggled to slow Hairston early and then Bullock after halftime, as the Tar Heels' four-guard lineup returned to the form it displayed in a six-game winning streak before losing to Duke at home last weekend.

Two of Hairston's first-half 3-pointers fueled an 8-0 burst that gave North Carolina a 10-point lead. Then Bullock sparked the 13-0 second-half run that helped the Tar Heels blow the game open.

After FSU closed to within 39-35, Hairston started the run with a 3-pointer. Bullock followed two possessions later with his own 3 over Devon Bookert. Bullock also had a driving layup while drawing a foul for a three-point play. Hairston closed the run with two free throws to make it 52-35 with 14:15 left.

The Seminoles never got the deficit back to single digits.

Snaer — the senior with six buzzer-beating winners over the past two seasons — fouled out with 1:40 left and headed to the bench to a standing ovation from his teammates. He went 8-for-12 from the field and 3-for-5 from behind the arc to go with seven rebounds and five assists.

FSU falls to North Carolina in ACC 03/15/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:48am]
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