GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jessica Breland had 10 rebounds and a season-high 28 points to help lead No. 19 North Carolina's 83-57 rout of No. 10 Miami in Saturday's ACC tournament semifinals.
The Tar Heels had lost four in a row entering the tournament. But now they have three wins in three days, including over Florida State in the quarterfinals, to earn a berth in today's final against No. 8 Duke, which beat Georgia Tech 74-66.
It will be the seventh time since 2000 that the rivals have met in the tournament final. The sixth-seeded Tar Heels will try to become the lowest-seeded team to win the tournament and first to win four games in four days.
"It's Carolina and Duke," said a grinning Cetera DeGraffenreid, who scored 14 for North Carolina. "Yeah, we don't like them."
The teams split the regular-season series, each team winning on its homecourt.
Duke got a season-high 20 points from Karima Christmas. Georgia Tech cut a 13-point second-half deficit to two with 7:10 left before Christmas helped the Blue Devils pull away.
First, she rebounded an air ball and scored to barely beat the shot clock. Soon after, she drove for a layup and added a press-breaking pass to Krystal Thomas for a layup that made it 63-55.
SEC: In Nashville, No. 4 Tennessee and No. 16 Kentucky reached the final for the second straight season. The Wildcats opened the game with a 22-2 run to beat Vanderbilt 69-56. The Commodores got as close as eight with 1:40 left. The Vols scored the game's first nine and never trailed in beating Georgia 82-58. The Bulldogs missed their first 14 shots.
Big East: No. 17 Georgetown defeated Syracuse 61-60 in Hartford, Conn., to earn a quarterfinal matchup with No. 1 UConn. Tied at 57, Alexa Roche made 1 of 2 free throws twice. In between, the rebound went out of bounds off the Orange. … No. 20 Marquette overcame a seven-point second-half deficit to beat Pittsburgh 65-61. It next faces Rutgers. … St. John's scored the game's final eight to beat West Virginia 59-51. Next is No. 12 DePaul. … Shoni Schimmel scored 13 and Monique Reid 12 to lead Louisville over Villanova 69-47. Next is No. 7 Notre Dame.
No. 3 Baylor 81, Colorado 59: Brittney Griner had 26 points and 13 rebounds for the visiting Bears (28-2, 15-1 Big 12). Baylor led 30-10 with 7:22 left in the first half then only 34-28 at halftime before pulling away again.
No. 5 Texas A&M 84, Nebraska 49: Up by two, the host Aggies (25-4, 13-3 Big 12) went on a 14-0 run early in the second half.
No. 6 Xavier 71, St. Joseph's 55: Down two, the Musketeers opened the second half with an 11-3 run then pulled away in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals in Lowell, Mass.
No. 9 UCLA 66, Wash. St. 48: The host Bruins (26-3, 16-2 Pac-10) scored the game's first 13.
Ohio St. 72, No. 11 Mich. St. 57: Jantel Lavender scored 37 for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten semifinals in Indianapolis. They face Penn State today.
No. 15 Green Bay 68, Detroit 48: Down three early in the second half, the visiting Phoenix (29-1, 18-0 Horizon) went on an 11-0 run.
Texas Tech 61, No. 18 Okla. 56: Down 35-31, the host Red Raiders opened the second half with a 10-2 run and led from there. The Sooners (20-10, 10-6 Big 12) made just 6 of 29 second-half shots.
No. 21 Marist 60, Siena 45: Erica Allenspach scored 34 and sparked a 14-4 second-half run as the Red Foxes pulled away in the Metro Atlantic semifinals in Bridgeport, Conn. They face Loyola on Monday.
Missouri 49, No. 23 Iowa St. 48: Kelesey Bolte, who leads the Cyclones (21-9, 9-7 Big 12) at 17.6 points per game, scored just five on 2-of-11 shooting in a road loss.
No. 25 Houston 90, Tulane 84, OT: Courtney Taylor had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the host Cougars (25-4, 16-0 C-USA), who went up for good on Brittney Scott's 3-pointer with 3:05 left.
Atlantic Sun: Stetson (20-12), which went 6-24 last season, made nine 3-pointers and used a 20-6 first-half run to beat Jacksonville 69-50 in the final in Macon, Ga.
Ivy: Lauren Edwards scored 11 of her 15 in the second half as host Princeton beat Harvard 68-59 to clinch the regular-season title and automatic NCAA berth.
Ohio Valley: Jasmine Newsome scored 24 as Tennessee-Martin defeated Tennessee Tech 82-76 in Nashville for its first NCAA berth.
Sunshine State conference: Tampa and Eckerd were ousted in the semifinals. Tampa fell behind by 18 in the first half in losing 75-62 to host Florida Tech. And Emma Cannon had 19 of her 24 points and 16 of her 21 rebounds in the second half as Florida Southern outscored Eckerd 50-28 to win 80-60.