ACC Tournament: UNC rolls into semifinals

  • Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:29 a.m.
North Carolina's P.J. Hairston (15) reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida State at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
North Carolina's P.J. Hairston (15) reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida State at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

GREENSBORO — P.J. Hairston scored 21 points to help North Carolina beat Florida State 83-62 on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.

Hairston hit five 3-pointers before leaving late in the game with a cut on his left hand, while Reggie Bullock added 17 points for the third-seeded Tar Heels (23-9). They took control with a 13-0 run early in the second half, hit 10 3s and also scored 27 points off 18 turnovers to beat the reigning champion Seminoles in a rematch of last season’s championship game.


The Tar Heels reached Saturday’s semifinals to face seventh-seeded Maryland, which upset second-ranked Duke earlier Friday. UNC has reached the past two finals and is trying for its first title since 2008.

Michael Snaer scored 20 for sixth-seeded Florida State (18-15), which lost all three meetings with the Tar Heels this season with the last two coming by 21 points each.

Hairston, playing in his hometown, hit his first four 3-pointers and finished 7-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-6 from behind the arc. But he suffered a cut to the webbing between two fingers and left a trail of blood droplets as he checked out of the game. Hairston left the bench area in obvious pain with 4:13 left.

Hairston needed stitches for the cut, but the severity of his injury wasn’t immediately known after the game.

The Seminoles advanced to the quarterfinals by holding off 11th-seeded Clemson in the first round Thursday night. But they struggled to slow Hairston early and then Bullock after halftime, as the Tar Heels’ four-guard lineup returned to the form it displayed in a six-game winning streak before losing to Duke at home last weekend.

Two of Hairston’s first-half 3s fueled an 8-0 burst that gave UNC a 10-point lead, then Bullock sparked the 13-0 second-half run that helped the Tar Heels blow the game open.

After FSU closed to within 39-35, Hairston started the run with a 3, while Bullock followed two possessions later with his own 3 over Devon Bookert. Bullock also had a driving layup while drawing a foul for a three-point play, then Hairston closed the run with two free throws to make it 52-35 with 14:15 left.

Florida State never managed to get that deficit back to single digits.

Bullock went 7-for-11 and scored 13 of his points after halftime. James Michael McAdoo added 12 points for UNC despite foul trouble, while Dexter Strickland added 10.

Snaer — the senior with six buzzer-beating winners in the past two seasons — fouled out with 1:40 left and headed to the bench to a standing ovation from his teammates. He finished 8-for-12 from the field and 3-for-5 from behind the arc to go with seven rebounds and five assists.

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