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ACC quarterfinals pits Panthers against Tar Heels

Greensboro, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - 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).

03/14 10:47:33 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
3rd
SFG 1
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 23
ARZ 52
 
3rd
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 15
TXST 0
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
3rd
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
Half
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
2nd
TENN 7
ALA 27
 
Half
AUB 21
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd Intermission
TOR 0
BOS 2
 
3rd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 1
DET 1
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
2nd Intermission
MON 2
NYR 1
 
1st Intermission
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 4
TAM 1
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14