UNC knocks off Virginia in ACC semis

Greensboro, NC ( - Justin Jackson shot 8-of-10 from the field, made four 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead No. 19 North Carolina to a 71-67 victory over No. 3 Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

Opponents were shooting an ACC-low 35.6 percent against the Cavaliers, but the Tar Heels (24-10) came out a lit them up at a 54.8 percent clip to reach Saturday's title game against Notre Dame.

Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for fifth-seeded UNC, which is seeking its first tourney title since 2008.

"We're especially pleased to be here still playing," said UNC head coach Roy Williams, whose team will try to win four games in four days.

Malcolm Brogdon carried top-seeded Virginia (29-3) with 25 points, while London Perrantes and Anthony Gill chipped in 12 apiece.

The Cavs, whose chances of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament took a hit, won the only regular-season matchup against UNC on Feb. 2 -- a 75-64 win that saw Justin Anderson score 16 points and hand out seven assists.

Anderson fractured a finger in Virginia's next game and was sidelined for a month before returning in the quarterfinals against Florida State. He has yet to score in the two tourney games, and the Cavs plodded through Friday's showdown before Brogdon gave them life down the stretch.

They trailed by 10 with under six minutes left before a 7-0 run, capped by a Brogdon 3-pointer, pulled them within three. Another Brogdon 3 pulled the Cavs within 61-60, and it was still a one-point game inside the final minute.

Paige gave UNC a 65-62 lead when he pump-faked Brogdon in the lane and scored underneath him with 41.6 seconds left. Anderson and Brogdon both missed from behind the arc on Virginia's next two possessions, and UNC held on from there.

North Carolina scored eight of the game's first nine points and went ahead by as many as 11 on a late Jackson 3-pointer -- one of five hit by the Tar Heels before the break.

"I just think they set the tone," Brogdon said. "They took it to us, and we played at their pace tonight."

A Gill tip-in and Perrantes layup cut Virginia's deficit heading to the locker room, and two Gill free throws made it a 30-25 game after halftime.

After trading jumpers, the Tar Heels rattled off eight straight points, including another Jackson 3-pointer, for a game-high 40-27 cushion.

Game Notes

Virginia won last year's ACC tourney title ... UNC has 17 ACC tourney titles ... Jackson, a 26.0 percent 3-point shooter coming in, shot 4-of-5 from long distance ... UNC recorded 17 assists on 23 made baskets and owned a 32-25 rebounding advantage.