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Off the cuff: While he didn't reach double figures, Ed Davis had perhaps his best game of the season against Virginia Tech. He had just eight points and three rebounds but he had six blocked shots and played 17 big minutes off the bench. His powerful rebound and dunk after Virginia Tech had cut it to one was a big basket and quieted the wild crowd.

Mike Copeland has become the forgotten man. With Will Graves suspended and Marcus Ginyard out for the year and Tyler Zeller still working into shape, I thought Copeland would get more playing time. But he didn't impress when he got a chance and he must not be doing all that well in practice because that's where Roy Williams makes his decisions. Zeller played just two minutes and Larry Drew played just three minutes.

Davis and Bobby Frasor, who has reverted to his shooting woes after a great game against Duke, were the only other Tar Heel subs to play.

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Heels 86, Hokies 78
UNC finishes to ensure share of title

Up by just a point with five minutes to play, North Carolina, led by Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, went on a 10-0 run and never looked back on its way to an 86-78 win at Virginia Tech. (3/4)

The win leaves UNC a game ahead of Duke in the ACC standings with the regular season finale coming Sunday at home against the Blue Devils.

The Tar Heels never trailed the Hokies but Virginia Tech rallied to within one at 63-62 with five minutes to go in the game. Hansbrough sank a pair of free throws and hit a short baseline jumper to give the Heels some cushion and Lawson followed with a pair of free throws and a driving layup. Danny Green completed the 10-0 run with a couple of free throws to make it 74-63 for UNC's largest lead of the game.

Carolina has had trouble finishing games recently but did not allow Virginia Tech to come back. The Hokies cut it to five but could get no closer as the Tar Heels sank seven free throws in the last minute of the game.

Virginia Tech tied the score twice in the second half, at 50 and at 56, but Green hit three pointers each time to give Carolina some breathing room and the defense made some stops.

"You have to win some games ugly and that's what we did tonight," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We didn't shoot well (41 percent) but we guarded them and defensively were more alert."

Carolina shot well at first as the the Heels got off to a nine-point lead within the first five and a half minutes at 15-6. A pair of three-pointers from the left corner by Wayne Ellington highlighted the quick start. But in the next five minutes Virginia Tech outscored the Heels 12-4 to draw within a point at 19-18. The Hokies never did take a lead however.

The Tar Heels got the lead back up to eight at 35-27 when Ellington scored on a finger-tip roll in the lane with 2:45 to go in the opening half. Virginia Tech cut it to three on a pair of fastbreak dunks by Jeff Allen before Hansbrough sank a three with four seconds left to make it 42-36 at the break.

Hansbrough finished with another double-double, scoring 22 and hauling in 15 rebounds. Lawson also scored 22 points and turned the ball over only once. Ellington scored 15, most in the first half, and Green had 10, all in the second half.

On senior night, Virginia Tech (17-12 and 7-8 in the ACC) was led by senior A.D. Vassallo who had 25 points, including 16 in the second half.

The Tar Heels, now 26-3 and 12-3 in the league, wrap up at least a tie for the regular season title with Duke coming to Chapel Hill Sunday.


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