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Virginia Tech falls to North Carolina in ACC Tournament Quarterfinals

Hokies fell 81-73

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 11: Caleb Love #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels attempts a shot against Tyrece Radford #23 and Keve Aluma #22 of the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half of their quarterfinals game in the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2021 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 11: Caleb Love #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels attempts a shot against Tyrece Radford #23 and Keve Aluma #22 of the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half of their quarterfinals game in the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2021 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Armando Bacot had 17 points and 13 rebounds while sparking a second-half surge that helped North Carolina beat No. 22 Virginia Tech 81-73 in Thursday night’s New York Life ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

Freshman RJ Davis added 14 of his season-high 19 points after halftime for the sixth-seeded Tar Heels, including three of his four 3-pointers to set up a matchup with No. 15 Florida State.

Bacot scored 13 of his points after halftime, including a run of 10 in a row as UNC (18-9) used a 11-2 run to break a 49-all tie. Bacot’s flurry included a pair of second-chance baskets, part of the Tar Heels increasing the intensity on the glass to finally assert some control of a tough, physical game.

A night earlier, the Tar Heels had 25 offensive rebounds and 27 second-chance points in a route of Notre Dame. This time, UNC didn’t do its best work until after halftime, pulling down 13 offensive boards and scoring 15 second-chance points.

Bacot finished with nine rebounds in the second half, part of the Tar Heels’ 27-17 edge on the glass in the final 20 minutes.

Justyn Mutts scored a season-high 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting for the third-seeded Hokies (15-6), who were playing their first game since Feb. 27 after having their last two regular-season games canceled due to contact tracing.

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2021 New York Life ACC Tournament

No. 6 North Carolina 81, No. 3 Virginia Tech 73

Thursday Quarterfinals

Postgame Notes

- North Carolina (18-9) advanced to Friday’s 9 p.m. semifinal game versus No. 2 Florida State (15-5). The teams split a pair of games during the regular season, with each side winning at home.

- UNC has reached the semifinals of the ACC Tournament for the 52nd time and for sixth time in the last seven years. A win Friday night would put the Tar Heels in the championship game for the 36th time. UNC is 47-13 all-time in the tournament’ quarterfinal round.

- Thursday night’s win upped UNC’s Roy Williams to 903-262 in 33 seasons as a head coach. With the 903 wins, Williams passed Bob Knight to become the third-winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. The ACC now boasts the top three winningest D-I coaches of all time in Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (1,169), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (979) and Williams (903).

- UNC’s overall ACC tourney record now stands at 104-48.

- UNC is 127-38 all-time in games played in the city of Greensboro.

- UNC improved to 4-0 all-time versus Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament and defeated the Hokies in Greensboro for the second consecutive year (78-56 in the first round in 2020).

- Freshman RJ Davis led UNC in scoring Thursday night with 19 points, including a 4-of-7 showing from 3-point range. The four 3-point goals were a season high for Davis, who scored in double figures for the 14th time this season.

- With 17 points and 13 rebounds, UNC sophomore Armando Bacot delivered his second double-double of the 2021 ACC Tournament and his seventh of the season overall. Bacot is averaging 18.5 points and 13 rebounds through the first two tournament games.

- Justyn Mutts (24 points) and Tyrece Radford (20) combined for 44 of Virginia Tech’s 73 points. The pair shot a combined 18-of-29 from the field.

- Mutts’ 24 points were a season high, bettering his previous high of 22 at Miami on Feb. 6

- Radford registered his sixth-consecutive double-figure scoring game and his third this season with 20 or more points.

- The Hokies, whose first season in the ACC was the 2004-05 academic year, are 10-17 in the ACC Tournament.

- Thursday night marked only the second time in ACC history that two teams met in the conference tournament that did not meet during the regular season, and the first time since 1967 (Duke versus South Carolina in the semifinals).


About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.