North Carolina Cruises Past Miami, 78-53 2
Mar 9, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Isaiah Hicks (4) controls the ball against Miami Hurricanes guard Davon Reed (5) during the first half of an ACC Conference Tournament game at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After a competitive first half, the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels pulled away in the second half and defeated the Miami Hurricanes to move onto the semi-finals of the ACC Tournament to face the Duke Blue Devils Friday night.

The top scorer for the Tar Heels was senior forward Isaiah Hicks who scored 19 points and made five out of his seven field goal attempts. He also was 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Junior forward and ACC player of the year Justin Jackson had 12 points.

The Hurricanes were led by freshman guard Bruce Brown who had 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

The game was tied at 14 with 11:26 remaining in the first half. Then the Tar Heels began to take command of the game as senior guard  Nate Britt hit a three-pointer, followed by a layup by Theo Pinson, and a jumper by Kennedy Meeks to put the Tar Heels up seven.

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They would take a 34-29 lead into halftime and outscored Miami 23-14 in the first ten minutes of the second half that to end the competitive phase of the game.

For the game, Carolina shot 83.3 percent (15-18) from the free throw line, its highest percentage in an ACC game this year and its highest since making 12-of-12 against Wisconsin in the finals of the Maui Invitational.

Carolina also had a solid game shooting the ball making 28 out 53 field goals (52.8%), and their defense was superb as they held Miami to just 19-53 from the field (35.8%).

With the win, Carolina avenged its 77-62 loss at Miami, and now they’re just two wins away from winning back to back ACC Championships. No team has won back to back ACC Championships since Duke did it from 2009 to 2011. In order for this to happen, they first must beat the Blue Devils on Friday night.

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