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Top seed UNC turns tables on Duke

DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina rebounded from a loss to its most despised rival by, well, rebounding.

Brice Johnson had 18 points and 21 rebounds, and the eighth-ranked Tar Heels dominated the glass and held on to beat No. 17 Duke 76-72 Saturday night and lock up the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

North Carolina never trailed and rode its inside game, building a 64-29 rebounding advantage while outscoring Duke 42-20 in the paint.

"We dominated the paint like we needed to. And we didn't go away from it," senior guard Marcus Paige said. "We kept going to the paint, kept going to the paint and we were able to hold off their runs. They made a couple of runs where they made a lot of 3s, but that's what Duke does. We were able to stay composed in a hostile environment and show what this team is really made of."

Kennedy Meeks added 12 points and 14 rebounds, Joel Berry II scored seven of his 12 in the final five minutes and Paige hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds to help the Tar Heels (25-6, 14-4) earn their first win on Duke's floor since 2012.

Duke escaped the Smith Center last month with a 74-73 win after the Tar Heels had a shot blocked on the game's final possession to end it.

"After all we've been through the last four years, it feels great to be able to walk off this court and say we won the ACC," Johnson said.

Grayson Allen scored 29 and Luke Kennard 20 for the Blue Devils (22-9, 11-7), who gave themselves a chance to win by hitting 13 3-pointers.

NO. 1 KANSAS 85, NO. 21 IOWA ST. 78: Perry Ellis scored 22, including a hook shot over Georges Niang to ice the win, and the Jayhawks (27-4, 15-3 Big 12) stretched their nation-leading home winning streak to 42 games. Niang led the Cyclones (21-10, 10-8) with 22 points.

NO. 2 MICH. ST. 91, OHIO ST. 76: Denzel Valentine had 27 points and matched a career high with 13 assists in his last home game, helping the Spartans (26-5, 13-5 Big Ten) to their 10th win in 11 games.

NO. 3 VILLANOVA 84, G'TOWN 72: Josh Hart scored 18 and Kris Jenkins had 17 for the host Wildcats (27-4, 16-2 Big East), who dominated from the opening tip.

NO. 4 UVA 68, NO. 11 L'VILLE 46: Mike Tobey had 15 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, and the host Cavaliers (24-6, 13-5 ACC) stifled the Cardinals (23-8, 12-6) for the second time this season.

NO. 5 XAVIER 98, CREIGHTON 93: Trevon Bluiett hit two 3-pointers that got the Musketeers going in the second half, and Xavier (26-4, 14-4 Big East) matched its school record for regular-season wins.

NO. 6 OKLA. 75, TCU 67: Buddy Hield scored 21 in his final regular-season game for the visiting Sooners (24-6, 12-6 Big 12), who wrapped up the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.

VA. TECH 77, NO. 7 MIAMI 62: Justin Bibbs scored 19 to lift the host Hokies (18-13, 10-8 ACC), who won their fifth straight and prevented the Hurricanes (24-6, 13-5) from clinching a share of the regular-season crown.

NO. 9 OREGON 76, USC 66: Tyler Dorsey scored 19 and Elgin Cook added 17 for the visiting Ducks (25-6, 14-4 Pac-12), who overcame a 20-minute power outage in the first half at Galen Center to clinch the conference title.

NO. 10 W. VA. 69, NO. 19 BAYLOR 58: Jaysean Paige had 14 points for the Mountaineers (24-7, 13-5 Big 12), who wrapped up second place. The Bears (21-10, 10-8) finished 4-5 at home in the Big 12.

NO. 13 UTAH 57, COLO. 55: Jakob Poetl had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the host Utes 24-7, 13-5 Pac-12) rallied.

NO. 16 IOWA 71, MICHIGAN 61: Jarrod Uthoff scored 16 of his 29 in the first half, and the visiting Hawkeyes (21-9, 12-6 Big Ten) snapped a four-game skid.

NO. 18 ARIZONA 94, STANFORD 62: Gabe York made nine 3-pointers to tie the school and McKale Center record and scored a career-high 32 for the host Wildcats (24-7, 12-6 Pac-12).

NO. 20 TEXAS A&M 76, VANDY 67: Jalen Jones scored 17 for the host Aggies (24-7, 13-5 SEC), who clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and a share of the regular-season title.

NO. 22 KENTUCKY 94, LSU 77: Jamal Murray scored 22 for the host Wildcats (23-8, 13-5 SEC), who claimed a share of the conference regular-season title.

NO. 25 CAL 68, ARIZ. ST. 65: Tyrone Wallace matched a season high with 24 points and hit two decisive free throws in the final minute as the visiting Bears (22-9, 12-6 Pac-12) rallied.

IVY LEAGUE: Makai Mason scored 22 and Brandon Sherrod added 13 to lead visiting Yale (22-6, 13-1 Ivy) to a 71-55 victory over Columbia, clinching the Bulldogs' first NCAA Tournament berth since 1962.

OVC: Jared Savage scored 24 and hit 8 of 14 3-pointers as Austin Peay (18-17) upset No. 2 seed UT Martin 83-73 in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship in Nashville, giving the Governors an automatic NCAA Tournament berth with their fourth win in as many days.

SSC: Drushaun McLaurn had 19 points as second-seeded Eckerd beat Lynn 64-61 in the Sunshine State Conference tournament semifinals in Daytona Beach. The Tritons (24-6) face top-seeded Barry, a 91-72 winner over No. 4 Saint Leo (19-11), in the final at 1 p.m. today.

WINLESS BC: Host Boston College (7-24, 0-18) lost 66-50 to Clemson to become the first ACC team to go winless in conference regular-season games since Maryland went 0-14 in 1986-87. The Eagles football team went 0-8 in league play, making the school the first in ACC history to go winless in both sports in the same academic year.

WISCONSIN: The school said it cleared former coach Bo Ryan of allegations that he had misused school resources while having an "improper personal relationship" with a woman.

Top seed UNC turns tables on Duke 03/05/16 [Last modified: Sunday, March 6, 2016 12:01am]
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