GREENSBORO--Sunday's ACC Tournament final was more suited for the OK Corral than it was the Greensboro Coliseum, as Miami and North Carolina shot a combined 51 three-pointers (25 made) as the Miami Hurricanes defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 87-77.
Shane Larkin (28 points, 7 assists) was named MVP of the tournament after scoring 20 points in the quarterfinals and 23 in Saturday's semifinal win over N.C. State. Trey McKinney-Jones added 20 points, shooting 6-9 from three-point range while Julian Gamble recorded a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) as the Hurricanes won their first tournament championship since joining the ACC.
Miami's championship hopes took a big hit during the first minute of play, as ACC Defensive Player of the Year Durand Scott took an elbow in the back while going up for a rebound. Scott checked back in with 13:17 remaining and the Tar Heels leading 14-12. Though Scott was in obvious pain, he gamely played 33 minutes in the contest, finishing with 6 points and 3 rebounds.
"I just what really made me come back for my team was when I got to the locker room I thought about North Carolina and P.J. Hairston. The moment when he got hurt and his ﬁ nger was bleeding and he came back and it was just an outstanding play. He came back and shot lights out today as well, and in my mind I was like, if he can do that I can do it. I think my team really needs me, just to be a leader out there and get everybody on the right track, and that’s what I tried my best to do."- Miami guard Durand Scott
North Carolina (24-10) was led by the hot shooting of P.J. Hairston, who scored 28 points and showed no ill effects from a hand injury sustained in the quarterfinal round that required 8 stitches. Guard Marcus Paige added 17 points for the Tar Heels, going 3-6 from the three-point line. Reggie Bullock added 11 points for North Carolina while James Michael McAdoo added 12 points and rebounds in defeat.
"We just wanted to come out with the mind set that we’re a better team than we showed last time, and we had a really great opportunity to earn a ring and win an ACC Tournament Championship. And they probably outplayed us for the last 5 or 6 minutes of the game, but other than that, it was a dog ﬁ ght."- North Carolina guard Reggie Bullock
Both Hairston and Bullock joined Miami's Larkin and Scott on the All-ACC Tournament first team, while Paige joined the Hurricanes' McKinney-Jones and Julian Gamble on the second team.
The Hurricanes (27-6) now await word from the NCAA Tournament selection committee as to their seed for the upcoming national tournament. After winning the regular season championship and the tournament title, the Hurricanes figure to be in the mix for a coveted No. 1 seed. The Tar Heels aren't in contention for a 1 seed, but their performance this weekend should have taken them off the 8/9 line that teams typically want to avoid.