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Pittsburgh (24-8) vs. (15) North Carolina (23-8)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Pittsburgh 13-5, UNC 15-3. Away Record: Pittsburgh 7-2, UNC 6-5. Neutral Record: Pittsburgh 4-1, UNC 2-0. Conference Record: Pittsburgh 11-7, UNC 13-5. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 8-1.

GAME NOTES: Seeking their first ACC Tournament title since 2008, the 15th- ranked North Carolina Tar Heels get their postseason underway with Friday's quarterfinal matchup against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

One of the winningest programs in this event, North Carolina comes in with a 90-42 tournament record, with 17 ACC Tournament titles, second only to Duke (19). The Tar Heels had some lulls this season, but very few teams over the second half of the campaign played better basketball. Marquee victories over the likes of Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke highlighted a season that saw Roy Williams' squad win 12 straight games down the stretch before falling in the regular-season finale at Duke to finish tied with the Blue Devils at 13-5, settling for the four-seed in this event.

Jamie Dixon's Panthers are in their first ACC Tournament, but made a rather smooth transition in their first season in the conference, in contention early before faltering a bit down the stretch and ending up 11-7 in league play, picking up the five-seed. Pittsburgh had a bye in the first round and treated the second round like a tune-up, routing Wake Forest, 84-55.

North Carolina has won eight of the nine all-time meetings with Pittsburgh, including a 75-71 victory in Chapel Hill on Feb. 15.

The Panthers held a 14-point lead at intermission (39-25) and kept pouring it on after the break, posting a rather easy 29-point rout of the Demon Deacons on Thursday. Lamar Patterson led the way with a game-high 24 points. Talib Zanna just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Josh Newkirk chipped in with 10 points off the bench for Pittsburgh, which shot an impressive 50 percent from the floor overall.

Aggressive play at both ends of the floor is what Pittsburgh brings to the table. The Panthers finished third in the ACC in scoring (72.6 ppg), fifth in scoring defense (62.5 ppg), third in scoring margin (+10.1) and second in rebounding margin (+6.4). Both seniors, Patterson and Zanna lead the way. The 6-foot-5 Patterson ranked fifth in the conference in scoring in the regular season at 17.6 ppg. The 6-9 Zanna added 12.5 ppg and ranked second in the ACC in rebounding (8.3 rpg).

UNC battled through its share of adversity, as its top player P.J. Hairston never suited up and guard Leslie McDonald missed a fair share of games. Others stood up and led the way in Chapel Hill, starting with sophomore guard Marcus Paige, who wore two hats, serving as the team's top scorer (17.1 ppg) and distributor (4.5 apg). Paige earned All-ACC First-Team honors for his efforts. The supporting cast was instrumental as well, thanks to the play of Second- Team honoree James Michael McAdoo (14.2 ppg), McDonald (10.7 ppg) and Brice Johnson (10.2 ppg).

The Tar Heels have really come together over the second half of the season and certainly know their way around the ACC Tournament. That being said, Pittsburgh is coming off an impressive win and will give UNC all it can handle in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 76, Pittsburgh 73

03/14 10:28:33 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI