ATLANTA — After a rugged, foul-plagued game, the officials put their whistles away in the closing seconds.
It worked out just fine for North Carolina. It sent North Carolina State into a tizzy.
Kendall Marshall banked in a shot with 10.2 seconds left, and the No. 4 Tar Heels escaped a wild finish with a 69-67 victory over the Wolfpack in the semifinals of the ACC tournament Saturday.
N.C. State's Richard Howell thought he was fouled on the final play and started going after an official only to be pulled away by teammates.
North Carolina (29-4) breathed a big sigh of relief.
"Right now, we feel very fortunate to say the least," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. "If you want to put lucky in there, you can say that as well."
A couple of noncalls left N.C. State furious.
Alex Johnson went flying on Marshall's drive, but there was no whistle. The Wolfpack (22-12) got one more crack with 1.2 seconds left, and Howell thought he was fouled trying to put up a shot after getting his hand on a long pass.
"We're disappointed. Tremendously," coach Mark Gottfried said. "This is just a tough one to take. A tough one."
The Tar Heels played without John Henson, the former Sickles High standout who sprained his left wrist in a quarterfinal victory.
|Round 1||Quarterfinals||Semifinals||Final||Semifinals||Quarterfinals||Round 1|
|1 UNC 85||2 Duke 60|
|8 Md. 82||1 UNC 69||2 Duke 59||7 Clem. 63|
|8 Maryland 69||10 Va. Tech 56|
|9 Wake 60||1 UNC||10 V. Tech 68|
|1, Ch. 44, ESPN|
|5 N.C. St. 78||3 Florida St.||6 Miami 54|
|5 N.C. State 67||6 Miami 71|
|12 BC 57||5 N.C. St. 67||3 FSU 62||11 G.Tech 36|
|4 Virginia 64||3 FSU 82|