GREENSBORO, N.C. — Too tall, too strong, too athletic. In summary, too good. Top seed North Carolina completed a perfect ACC campaign Sunday, overwhelming Duke 86-73 in the tournament final.
The No. 2-ranked Tar Heels (30-2), after a 14-0 conference regular season, seem a sure No. 1 seed when the NCAA Tournament field is set next Sunday.
Senior forward Erlana Larkins, named tournament MVP, and freshman guard Cetera DeGraffenreid scored 17 apiece to lead the Tar Heels to their fourth consecutive ACC tournament title.
"I'm very proud of this team," North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "Winning the ACC championship never gets old, and it's something we never take for granted, I promise you."
Chante Black and Jasmine Thomas led the 12th-ranked Blue Devils (23-9) with 16 points each. Abby Waner added 11.
"They're really, really good," Duke coach JoAnne P. McCallie said of the Tar Heels. "They don't really have any weaknesses, and it's tough to beat them if you don't play your best."
The Blue Devils committed 29 fouls to 16 for the Tar Heels. North Carolina shot 34 of 44 at the line, Duke was 12 of 18.
"We also had 26 second-chance points to 14 for Duke," Hatchell said. "And the offensive rebounding helped get us to the free-throw line."
UNC trailed 10-6 early but went on a 21-8 run and led by eight at halftime. Duke closed within four early in the second half, but North Carolina went on a 6-0 spurt and never trailed again.