Greensboro, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The 19th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels open up postseason play on Wednesday afternoon, as they take on the Boston College Eagles in second-round action of the ACC Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.
The winner of this game moves into Thursday's quarterfinal round against four- seed Louisville.
North Carolina finished just outside the top four teams, picking up the five- seed. UNC had a two-game win streak halted in the regular-season finale against rival Duke (84-77), but still finished the year with an impressive 21-10 overall record, including an 11-7 league ledger. North Carolina trails only Duke in terms of ACC Tournament success, with an impressive 90-43 record in the event, with 17 tournament titles, the last of which came in 2007.
There wasn't much to get excited about in Jim Christian's first season at the helm of Boston College. The Eagles were relegated to the 12-seed in this event as a result of finishing just 4-14 in the ACC, but were able to edge out 13- seed Georgia Tech, 66-65 in Tuesday's first round to advance. The win was the 13th of the season for Boston College, which improved its ACC Tournament record to 8-9 all-time.
The Tar Heels hold a 12-5 series advantage over Boston College, including a 79-68 road win in the only meeting between these teams this year.
In a hard-fought matchup with the Yellow Jackets, Boston College won thanks to a 9-2 run to close out the game. Of course, star guard Olivier Hanlan played a huge role in the victory, including the winning layup with under 11 seconds to play. Hanlan finished with a stat line of 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Patrick Heckmann poured in 19 points and Dimitri Batten tacked on 10 for BC, which shot .447 from the floor in the win.
The Eagles aren't exactly loaded with offensive depth, but what they do have is a star in Hanlan. The veteran guard finished the regular season as the ACC's leading scorer and with Tuesday's game, has improved on that slightly to a now 19.6 ppg. Hanlan also finds time to get others involved, with a team- best 4.2 apg. For his efforts, Hanlan was named an All-ACC First-Team member. Aaron Brown can fill up the basket as well at 14.6 ppg. Heckmann ranks third on the team with 8.5 ppg.
One of the most balanced and explosive offensive squads in the nation, North Carolina likes to push the tempo. The Tar Heels enter the postseason with solid averages of 78.2 ppg on a healthy .473 shooting.
UNC is led by All-ACC Third-Team selection Marcus Paige (13.5 ppg), who also serves as the team's top facilitator (4.4 apg). Forwards Brice Johnson (12.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Kennedy Meeks (12.0 ppg, 7.6 ppg) are perfect complements with their interior games. Further depth comes in the form of Justin Jackson (10.1 ppg) and J.P. Tokoto (8.7 ppg).