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by Ralph Russo, Associated Press

BROOKLYN—Brady Manek outscored Virginia in the first half on the way to 21 points and No. 25 North Carolina cruised into the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals with a 63-43 victory Thursday night.

The third-seeded Tar Heels (24-8) will face seventh-seeded Virginia Tech (19-13) on Friday night in Barclays Center, having won 12 of 14.

The sixth-seeded Cavaliers leave Brooklyn with an ignominious record. They scored just 13 points in the first half against UNC, the fewest in the first half of an ACC Tournament game in the shot-clock era.

Jayden Gardner was the only Cavalier in double digits with 17 points.

Virginia went 5 for 27 from the field in the first half, its final bucket coming on a putback dunk by Kadin Shedrick with 6:15 left.

Manek scored 19 in the half on his own, finishing it off with a dunk in the final seconds to put the Tar Heels up 33-13 at the break.

According to North Carolina, it was the first time one of its players outscored an opponent in a first half since Reggie Bullock edged Maryland 21-20 in 2013. It was also the fewest points the Tar Heels allowed in a first half since 12 to East Tennessee State on Dec. 8, 2012.

Armando Bacot had 11 points and 10 rebounds to tie North Carolina’s single-season record for double-doubles.

Virginia: A night after the Cavaliers beat Louisville 51-50 while going 0 for 8 from 3-point range, they went 3 for 11 from distance against the Tar Heels. Reece Beekman made Virginia’s first 3-point attempt of the game at 15:22 of the first half.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels finished the regular season with their best game, beating Duke to spoil coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They followed it up with another strong effort to reach the ACC semifinals for the seventh straight tournament.

North Carolina beat the Cavaliers for the second time this year. Virginia had won seven straight against the Tar Heels coming into the season.

Virginia: An NIT bid likely awaits the Cavaliers, snapping a seven-year run of NCAA Tournament appearances — not including the 2020 canceled tournament.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels swept Virginia Tech in the regular season.






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