|#1 North Carolina (31-2, 14-2) vs. #3 Clemson (24-8, 10-6)
Series record: North Carolina leads 120-19
In ACC Tournament: North Carolina leads 13-1
North Carolina won both regular-season meetings, but neither victory came easy for the top-ranked Tar Heels. North Carolina opened ACC play with a 90-88 win in overtime on Jan. 6 at Clemson, with Wayne Ellington's 3-point shot with 0.4 seconds remaining providing the winning margin. Ellington's career-high 36 points led the Tar Heels. K.C. Rivers scored 24 to lead the Tigers, who were up by seven points with 2:38 remaining in regulation ... North Carolina trailed for the first 39:35 of the rematch at Chapel Hill before pulling out a 103-93 win in double-overtime on Feb. 10. The Tigers led by 15 points with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation and by 11 points with 3:12 left before running into problems at the foul line. The Tar Heels' Tyler Hansbrough led all scorers with 39 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Ellington added 28 points for the Tar Heels, and Cliff Hammonds scored 31 to lead Clemson.
The defending champion Tar Heels are in the title game for an ACC-best 29th time. Prior to last year's championship game win over N.C. State, North Carolina had gone five tournaments (since falling to Duke in 2001 title game) without playing on Sunday ... North Carolina has reached the championship game in eight of the 12 ACC Tournaments held in Charlotte (1968, 1969, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2008).
The Tar Heels are 16-12 in all ACC Tournament title games, including wins in the 1968, 1969, 1991 and 1994 games at Charlotte. Clemson seeks its first ACC Tournament title as it makes its second appearance in the championship game. The Tigers' other title-game appearance came in 1962 at Raleigh, when they were seeded sixth and fell to top-seeded Wake Forest 77-66. This is Clemson's first game against the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament since an 88-81 loss in the 2005 quarterfinals at Washington, D.C. While Clemson has never won on UNC's home court, the Tigers have had some success against the Tar Heels within the state of North Carolina. Clemson defeated UNC at Raleigh in the first round of the 1939 Southern Conference Tournament, in the 1964 and 1967 North-South Doubleheaders (both at the original Charlotte Coliseum) and in the 1996 ACC Tournament quarterfinals at Greensboro. The latter win, a 75-73 decision, came on Greg Buckner's dunk with less than a second remaining on the clock. Clemson went on to capture the Southern Conference Tournament championship following its 1939 win over the Tar Heels, and it remains the school's lone postseason men's basketball title.
This will mark the third ACC Tournament game between North Carolina and Clemson in Charlotte. The Tar Heels scored a 94-70 win in the 1969 quarterfinals and won 69-57 in the 1991 quarterfinals ... Overall, North Carolina holds a 15-2 edge over Clemson in the Queen City and leads 32-4 in games played on neutral courts. The Tar Heels have beaten the Tigers eight straight times in Charlotte since losing in 1967.
ACC Tournament Records:
North Carolina 82-37