NEW YORK – The North Carolina Tar Heels will begin their quest to win a second consecutive ACC Tournament when they take on No. 9 seed Miami at noon Thursday.
- North Carolina (26-6, 14-4 ACC) vs Miami (21-10, 10-8 ACC)
- Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- When: Thursday, 12 p.m.
- TV: ESPN/ACC Network
The Tar Heels, led by ACC Player of the Year Justin Jackson, won the ACC regular season championship by two games in what many consider to be the most competitive season in conference history. Miami won its only ACC championship by defeated the Tar Heels in the finals of the 2013 tournament.
North Carolina enters Thursday’s game with five wins in their last six games, including a thrilling victory over archrival Duke in their season finale. To go along with Jackson, Roy Williams’ team will have the services of second-team All-ACC guard Joe Berry, who has been named a finalist for the Cousy Award, which is given to the nation’s top point guard.
The Hurricanes reached the quarterfinals by taking down Syracuse 62-57 Wednesday. Kamari Murphy led Miami with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Davon Reed chipped in 14 points and four boards. Murphy, who is a Brooklyn native, felt right at home with his solid performance against the Orange, which will likely lock the Hurricanes into the NCAA tournament for a second straight year.
In the teams’ only regular season meeting, Miami cruised to a 77-62 victory at home. Bruce Brown shined in the game, scoring 30 points, including four three-pointers. Despite 21 points from Jackson, the Heels weren’t able to keep up with the Canes.
“It was a big-time kicking of our rear ends,” said Williams. “They were more aggressive in everything they did.”