GREENSBORO, N.C. – Dexter Strickland and Reggie Bullock scored 15 points apiece and North Carolina held on to beat Maryland 79-76 on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals.
P.J. Hairston scored 13 points despite a heavily wrapped and injured left (non-shooting) hand for the third-seeded Tar Heels (24-9), but his missed free throw with 16 seconds left gave Maryland a chance to force overtime.
The Terps called time out with 10.9 seconds left, and Logan Aronhalt took the inbounds pass and immediately launched an off-balance 30-foot airball.
Bullock snatched the ball and passed to Hairston, who was all alone near midcourt, and the Tar Heels ran out the clock to clinch a spot in the title game. Next up: a meeting with ninth-ranked and top-seeded Miami on Sunday.
The Hurricanes' regular-season sweep included a 26-point win last month at home.
Alex Len had 20 points to lead seventh-seeded Maryland (22-12).