North Carolina Takes ACC Championship With 89-80 Win Over N.C. State
March 11, 2007
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -North Carolina's depth proved to be too much for North Carolina State's determination.
Shrugging off nine years of frustration in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, the eighth-ranked Tar Heels beat their Tobacco Road rivals 89-80 Sunday for their first league title since 1998.
Brandan Wright and Wayne Ellington scored 16 apiece, Tyler Hansbrough went 11-for-11 from the foul line to finish with 15, and Reyshawn Terry and Ty Lawson added 13 each to give Roy Williams about the only thing that was missing from his resume as a head coach.
In winning their 16th ACC tournament title, tied with Duke for the most in conference, the Tar Heels (28-6) likely also nailed down a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina State (18-15) reached the title game with an improbable run that included upsets of second-seeded Virginia, third-seeded Virginia Tech and defending champion Duke, which had won seven of the previous eight ACC titles.
But winning four games in four days was too much to ask of the 10th-seeded Wolfpack, especially against a team as deep and balanced as top-seeded North Carolina.
Williams used 11 players, substituting as many as five at a time, while building a 16-point lead. Brandon Costner, Gavin Grant and Courtney Fells led a 29-14 run that trimmed N.C. State's deficit to 70-69 but the Wolfpack ran out of gas in the last five minutes.
Terry scored eight straight for North Carolina, then the Tar Heels made nine of 10 free throws in the final 1:14 to stay ahead.
Costner led N.C. State with 28 points. Fells had 18 and Grant finished with 10.