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UNC survives Maryland 79-76, will play Miami for ACC championship

The tension rising throughout the second half, North Carolina never lost its lead – or its poise – in the ACC tournament semifinals at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Tar Heels held on to beat the Terrapins 79-76 and will play Miami on Sunday in the tournament championship game.

UNC led by as many as 13 points midway through the second half, but Maryland, which mounted comeback attempt after comeback attempt, whittled the Heels’ lead to a point with 3:12 to play. From there, UNC built its lead back up to five, only to see the Terps make it a two-point game with 19 seconds left.

UNC 78, Maryland 69: The look back

P.J. Hairston led North Carolina with 22 points on Wednesday night at Maryland. ROBERT WILLETT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — And all of a sudden, North Carolina is on a six-game winning streak. Here's the story of the Tar Heels’ 78-69 victory against Maryland. And, as always, the look back:

UNC turns back Maryland 79-68

Updated 11 p.m.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — When North Carolina was a weaker team than it is now, when the Tar Heels weren’t as mentally tough or resilient, they might have reacted adversely to the pressure they experienced here on Wednesday at Maryland.

UNC led throughout much of its 79-68 victory against the Terrapins, but there were stretches when the Tar Heels played poorly, and when Maryland attempted to seize control of a game it desperately needed to win to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes.

UNC at Maryland: The preview

James Michael McAdoo and his North Carolina teammates will be challenged by Maryland's formidable front line. ROBERT WILLETT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Welcome to gray, dreary College Park, where not too long from now North Carolina will play Maryland in the Comcast Center. Here’s hoping that no Maryland screams an F-bomb during the national anthem. Yes, that happened the last time UNC played here.

Here’s the story setting up the game. And some things to know …

UNC 62, Maryland 52: The look back

James Michael McAdoo (above) and Reggie Bullock (not pictured) led North Carolina on Saturday against Maryland. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — It’d be difficult to find a game with a pair of halves that were more contrasting than the one today was for North Carolina. The Tar Heels played their best half of the season during the first 20 minutes of their 62-52 victory against Maryland. And then came the second half.

Here's the story of UNC's victory. And the look back:

UNC coasts to 62-52 win over Maryland

Updated 5:02 p.m.

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina played its finest half of the season during its 62-52 victory against Maryland here on Saturday, yet Tar Heels coach Roy Williams admitted afterward that it was difficult for him not to bemoan the way his team played during the final 20 minutes.

“I’m giving myself a pep talk,” he said, referencing his desire to focus on the good and overlook the bad. “I want to focus on the dadgum first half.”

And what a half it was for UNC, which dominated in a way that it hadn’t yet this season. Reggie Bullock, the junior guard, scored 21 of his 24 points during the first 20 minutes – outscoring Maryland by himself in the process – and the Tar Heels led 42-20 at halftime.

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