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UNC dominates Duke to clinch ACC title

Former Sickles star John Henson, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds for North Carolina, shoots over Duke’s Ryan Kelly.

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Former Sickles star John Henson, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds for North Carolina, shoots over Duke’s Ryan Kelly.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina finished off its fiercest rival and the ACC regular-season race with one strong performance.

Harrison Barnes had 18 points to help No. 13 North Carolina beat No. 4 Duke 81-67 on Saturday night, clinching the ACC championship and the top seed in the league tournament.

Former Sickles standout John Henson had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Kendall Marshall 15 points and 11 assists as the Tar Heels (24-6, 14-2) ended a three-game losing streak to their rival. North Carolina also avenged last month's loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium in which it blew a 16-point lead in the first half.

Once again, UNC built a big first-half lead, this time 14 points. But Barnes and the Tar Heels protected that margin Saturday and stayed in control the entire game.

Nolan Smith had 30 points for Duke (27-4, 13-3). Seth Curry had 20 points with six 3-pointers.

In many ways, it was a replay of the first meeting for the Blue Devils. Just as before, Smith and Curry carried the offense while Kyle Singler struggled to make much of anything while matching up much of the night against Barnes, the heralded recruit who picked North Carolina over Duke and other schools.

But Barnes was more aggressive than in the first meeting, leading an offense that shot 52 percent, highest against Duke in a league game this season. Barnes shot 3-of-8 and had nine points in the first game but went 7-of-17 in this one.

NO. 2 KANSAS 70, NO. 22 MISSOURI 66: Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson had double doubles for the Jayhawks (29-2, 14-2), who wrapped up their seventh straight Big 12 championship by holding the Tigers (22-9, 8-8) to season-worst 29.3 percent shooting and handing them their first loss at home.

NO. 3 BYU 102, WYOMING 78: Jimmer Fredette had 38 points, and the host Cougars (28-3, 14-2 Mountain West) rebounded after being routed in their first game without Brandon Davies, who was kicked off the team for breaking the school's honor code.

NO. 4 PITT 60, NO. 19 VILLANOVA 50: Ashton Gibbs had 18 points for the host Panthers (27-4, 15-3), who clinched the outright Big East title. The Wildcats (21-10, 9-9) were without Corey Stokes (left hamstring).

IOWA 67, NO. 6 PURDUE 65: Jarryd Cole had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game as the Hawkeyes stunned the Boilermakers (25-6, 14-4), clinching the Big Ten title for Ohio State.

NO. 8 NOTRE DAME 70, NO. 16 UCONN 67: Ben Hansbrough had 21 points despite fouling out with more than eight minutes left, and the visiting Fighting Irish (25-5, 14-4 Big East) handed the Huskies (22-9, 9-9) their fourth loss in five games.

W. VA. 72, NO. 11 LOUISVILLE 70: Truck Bryant hit two free throws with one second left for the host Mountaineers, who clinched a first-round bye in the Big East tournament and snapped a four-game winning streak by the Cardinals (23-8, 12-6).

NO. 12 SYRACUSE 107, DEPAUL 59: Rick Jackson had 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in his final game in the Carrier Dome as the Orange (25-6, 12-6 Big East) won its fifth straight game since losing four in a row.

Cincy 69, NO. 17 G'TOWN 47: Yancy Gates had 10 of his 13 points from the free-throw line for the host Bearcats, who completed a sweep of the Hoyas (21-9, 10-8 Big East) and handed them their third straight loss.

NO. 18 ARIZ. 90, OREGON 82: Derrick Williams had 14 points despite early foul trouble and got plenty of help in what might have been his final home game, helping the host Wildcats (25-6, 14-4) clinch the outright Pac-10 title.

NO. 23 XAVIER 66, SAINT LOUIS 55: Tu Holloway had 25 points for the visiting Musketeers (24-6, 15-1 Atlantic 10), who won their ninth straight game.

NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 66, TEXAS TECH 54: David Loubeau had 21 points for the host Aggies (23-7, 10-6 Big 12), who blew it open with a 9-0 run early in the second half.

NO. 25 UTAH ST. 72, LA. TECH 32: Tyler Newbold had 14 points and the visiting Aggies (28-3, 15-1 WAC) held the Bulldogs to 18 percent shooting (10-for-56).

Atlantic SUN: Mark Hedgepeth had 23 points and nine rebounds as top-seeded Belmont earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament with an 87-46 victory over North Florida in the championship game in Macon, Ga.

BIG SOUTH: Chris Stephenson had 14 points and third-seeded North Carolina-Asheville (19-13) beat top-seeded Coastal Carolina 60-47 in the title game on the Chanticleers' homecourt.

OHIO VALLEY: Demonte Harper had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 2 seed Morehead State (24-9) won the tournament title by beating No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech 80-73 in Nashville.

State

Marshall 83, UCF 69: Damier Pitts had 25 points and eight assists to lead the host Thundering Herd over the Knights (19-10, 6-10 C-USA).

SSC tournament

ROLLINS 67, TAMPA 62: The Tars outscored the Spartans (22-7) 10-0 in the final 4:36 to reach today's tournament final in Melbourne.

ECKERD 70, FLA. SOUTHERN 69: John Harper had 11 points and nine rebounds for the No. 3 seed Tritons (22-7), who hung on late to reach their first tournament title game since 2007.

.Fast facts

Automatic bids

Belmont A-Sun

Morehead St. Ohio Valley

UNC-Asheville Big South

UNC dominates Duke to clinch ACC title 03/05/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 6, 2011 4:32pm]
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