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Off the cuff: With just over three minutes left, North Carolina had a good chance to change the game's trajectory.

The Heels forced a turnover down just 74-71. Carolina was having a hard time getting off a shot when freshman Marcus Paige drove left of the goal. Instead of shooting, he decided to dish to James Michael McAdoo who didn't field the ball cleanly and the shot clock ran out.

Paige had a shot at the goal but didn't take it with a couple of seconds left on the clock. Instead, seconds later, Shane Larkin drove by everybody for two to make it 76-71.

After McKinney-Jones hit yet another three, it was 79-71. A pair of questionable official calls and eight straight free throws wrapped it up.

The calls were actually non-calls. Reggie Bullock appeared to be fouled inside when he was poised to draw the Heels to within six. Then, on a three-point shot, the Tar Heel faithful (and PJ Hairston) felt that Hairston was fouled shooting a three that could have dwindled the deficit to five.

As an aside, Larkin won the tourney MVP award and seems like a nice person. But he didn't sound like his well-spoken father Barry in his post-game interview with announcer Debbie Antonelli. "It's crazy man," he said to the female reporter. I suppose he foolishly uses "man" the way some people use "you know." Later he said "The seniors worked hard - they've been here four years." Oh really, I bet the freshmen have been there one year too.

Seriously, he was probably just excited but it sounded a little funny.

It was a classic game between two very good teams. It will be interesting to see how far Miami and North Carolina go in the NCAA Tournament.

Miami 87, Tar Heels 77
Hot-shooting Miami tops Heels for ACC title

North Carolina, the third seed, and Miami, the first seed, went back and forth in the ACC Tournament Title game but in the end the veteran Hurricanes made the plays down the stretch and won 87-77 in Greensboro. (3/17)

There were 14 lead changes when the Tar Heels took the lead at 55-53 on a dunk by James Michael McAdoo. Carolina worked the lead up to five at 63-58 midway through the second half on another bucket by McAdoo.

Down by four at 65-61, Miami when on a 13-4 run in less than five minutes to take control of the game. Not known as a three-point shooting team (they were sixth in the league), the Hurricanes drained a pair of threes during that stretch - one by Shane Larkin and one by Trey McKinney-Jones.

A 35 percent three-point shooting team, Miami went 12 of 22 on the day.

"You know 12 for 22 three-point shooting is hard to beat," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "Congratulations to them."

The three by McKinney-Jones put Miami up for good at 69-67 with 6:24 to go. Williams said there was a mix-up on the inbounds play that allowed McKinney-Jones to be open from the left corner.

UNC's PJ Hairston, who , had one three rattle out just before the McKinney-Jones three and another three rim out just after.

The Tar Heels never were able to catch back up. Fouling Miami late didn't work as the Hurricanes hit 10 straight free throws to end the game.

It was a tough day for Carolina to win a title as the Heels ran into career-high days for Larkin (28 points) and McKinney-Jones (20).

UNC's Hairston scored 28 points and had six of the Tar Heels' 13 3-pointers to lead the Heels, who fall to 24-10.

Miami improves to 27-6 in winning its first ACC championship.


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