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Off the cuff: After the game, UNC coach Roy Williams said, "That was an extremely competitive, yet somewhat ugly basketball game. You have to congratulate both teams' defense, because I thought both teams played so hard. It was a struggle for us to find a play to run or to find a shot that we could make.

"There were a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers late, but [Tyler Zeller] made a big time play. We ran about three different set plays and we kept getting shots. We messed up on the defensive end late in the game and let Zeglinski get a wide-open shot to challenge. We were very lucky that it didn't go in. That's the bottom line. We did have all the fouls, so we wanted to try to use them and not give them too much time to run a play.

"Sometimes that worked and it helped us. At two or three seconds left, when Harrison [Barnes] was on the line, I thought that was it. But we gave them another chance, and we were very lucky. Harrison [Barnes]'s turnover, and Reggie [Bullock}'s turnover; you have to give Virginia credit because they came up with the turnovers. John [Henson]'s play inside when he got switched off with Jontel [Evans] and blocked the shot, that was big. I thought [Tyler Zeller] was huge for us today, we passed the ball to him and his play was big. If you go down the stat sheet line, he's 7-11 and nobody else comes close: 4-10, 3-15, 0-6. He carried us a great deal of the time."

Tar Heels 54, Virginia 51
Zeller, Heels hold off VA in last minutes

UNC's Tyler Zeller had played well the whole game but with the Tar Heels behind 49-48 with less than six minutes to go, he took over. Zeller got an assist and two buckets, including a dunk with 13 seconds left, to lead the Heels to a 54-51 victory at Virginia. (2/25) Click here for a photo gallery.

"Zeller was big for us," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "He carried us a great deal today."

Zeller led the way with 20 points including seven of 11 from the floor and six of six from line. No one else shot very well for the Heels who shot only 33 percent from the floor.

John Henson, who hit only four of 10, came through from the free throw line, which is unusual. Henson hit seven of eight free throws, including a couple with eight minutes to go to give the Heels a three-point cushion.

The Tar Heels were in trouble at the half as UVA's Sammy Zeglinski hit a 30 footer at the buzzer to give the Cavs a 30-26 lead.

Virginia worked the lead up to six at 37-31 with less than 17 minutes to play. The Tar Heels chipped away at the lead and then P.J. Hairston banged in a long three with 11 minutes left to give the Tar Heels a 42-41 lead.

Carolina kept the lead until a Harris bucket with 5:57 left gave the Cavs a 49-48 lead. That's when Zeller took over.

First, Zeller dished to John Henson for a bucket with 5:40 to go. Then, with just over four minutes to play, Zeller scored inside to give Carolina a 52-49 advantage.

The Cavs drew to within a point and had a couple of chances to take the lead. Mike Scott missed a three with less than a minute to play. UNC's Reggie Bullock got the rebound and the Heels took time off the clock.

With 13 seconds Zeller put the mojo on defenders and went in for a left-handed dunk with 13 seconds left. Zeglinksi missed a three with five seconds left and the Heels held on for the victory.

The 54 points were the lowest offensive output of the season as both teams played well defensively.

The Tar Heels, now 25-4 and 12-2, are tied with Duke for first place with just two games left - at home against Maryland and then at Duke.


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