Greensboro, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Brice Johnson scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and No. 19 North Carolina pulled away for a 70-60 win over No. 14 Louisville in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Tar Heels (23-10) advanced to face top-seeded and national No. 3 Virginia in the semifinals on Friday.
"I don't know who was out there in the first half, but Brice was there in the second half, and that was a huge part of our win," UNC coach Roy Williams said.
Marcus Paige added 13 points in the win, Justin Jackson scored 10 and Kennedy Meeks had nine points and five rebounds after missing Wednesday's win over Boston College with an illness.
Terry Rozier scored 20 points to lead Louisville (24-8), which had not played since knocking off Virginia on Saturday to finish the regular season. Wayne Blackshear scored 18 and Montrezl Harrell had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Cardinals.
"We had a lot of good looks; we just couldn't put the shots down, and sometimes it's very simple when it comes down to that," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said.
Meeks, who played 19 minutes, scored the last four points of an 8-0 run that pulled the Tar Heels out of a one-point hole and gave them a seven-point lead with under four minutes remaining.
Blackshear's 3-pointer cut the margin to four with 2:03 remaining but the Cardinals did not score again, missing their last five shots, including four tries from beyond the arc.
Louisville finished 4-for-22 from 3-point range while North Carolina was 5- for-11.
The Cardinals led by as many as 10 points in the first half on a Blackshear 3 that made it 30-20. North Carolina scored 12 of the last 17 points in the half to pull within 37-32 at the break.
The teams split the prior two games of the season series, with each winning at home ... Louisville had won three consecutive conference tournament titles before this year, including two in the Big East and its only season in the American Athletic Conference last year.