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UNC Cruises Past Noles In ACC Quarters

Charlotte - Tyler Hansbrough scored 22 points Friday to help No. 1 North Carolina beat Florida State 82-70 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.

Wayne Ellington added 19 points for the top-seeded Tar Heels (30-2), who have won nine straight games and 12 of 13. North Carolina, the defending tournament champion, will face the winner of Friday's quarterfinal game between Virginia Tech and Miami.

Jason Rich scored 23 points for the ninth-seeded Seminoles (19-14), who again proved to be a pesky opponent for the Tar Heels. North Carolina swept the three games against the Seminoles, though none of the victories came easily. The Tar Heels needed overtime to beat Florida State on the road in February, then led by just six midway through the second half before pulling away late for a 90-77 win last week in Chapel Hill.

Friday's matchup followed a similar pattern, with the Seminoles trailing 43-38 with about 14 minutes left before North Carolina finally took control.

The Tar Heels used a 10-3 spurt, which started with a three-point play inside from Hansbrough, to finally get a comfortable cushion that they maintained the rest of the way. The Seminoles twice got within eight points but couldn't pull closer, the last time coming at 64-56 on a 3-pointer from Ralph Mims with 6:42 left.

North Carolina shot 53 percent for the game, including 6-for-13 from 3-point range. But unlike the previous two meetings in which North Carolina outrebounded Florida State by 28 and 15, the Seminoles helped themselves by staying even on the glass.

Florida State, which had won five of its last six games, shot 49 percent and hit 10 of 21 3-pointers for the game.


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