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Sports

Carolina Beats Duke, Takes Top Seed In ACC Tournament

North Carolina's Justin Jackson dunks.
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
/
ASSOCIATED PRESS
North Carolina's Justin Jackson dunks against Duke during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 5, 2016. North Carolina won 76-72.

In men's college basketball, eighth ranked North Carolina clinched the regular season ACC title with a road win over rival Duke, 76-to-72.  The Tar Heels led throughout the game, although the Blue Devils kept it close most of the way. 

Tar Heels senior Marcus Paige hit four free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Carolina Coach Roy Williams praised his team's effort.

"Justin Jackson made two free throws. Brice (Johnson) scored a couple buckets in that time period, and Joel Berry made a three... We were eight-for-eight from the free-throw line to finish the game."

The Blue Devils had beaten the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill last month.

Williams praised Duke defensive player Marshall Plumlee for his performance in both games.

"In my opinion he was the reason they won the game over at our place. he played the last 14 minutes with four fouls and challenged everything we had around the basket, so I'd like to congratulate him," Williams said Saturday. "But it's a wonderful feeling in our locker room right now. There's no question about that."

Now Carolina is the top-seeded team for the 25th time in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It runs tomorrow through Saturday. The Tar Heels will receive a double-bye into Thursday's quarterfinal round.

Number 12 NC State plays 13th ranked Wake Forest tomorrow at noon. Number 5 Duke will play Wednesday.

 

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