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The North Carolina Tar Heels (22-5, 12-2) just created a path to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament come Selection Sunday. After dominating the Duke Blue Devils without Zion Williamson, the Tar Heels had another tough test on Saturday afternoon. They came up with a 77-59 victory over the Florida State Seminoles (21-5, 9-5).

After leading 37-34 at the half, the Tar Heels could have been in a little bit a trouble. Their first half double digit lead was almost gone. However, freshman point guard Coby White scored 6 of his 10 points in the first few minutes of the second half. The Tar Heels pushed the lead to 48-38 and never really looked back.

The Seminoles came into the contest with eight straight wins. They were the hottest team in the ACC and looked like a sleeper candidate to get a No. 1 seed if they won out. Instead, they ran into the buzzsaw of the Tar Heels interior play.

Overall, the Tar Heels shot 42 percent from the field. It wasn’t always a spectacular performance. However, the combination of Cameron Johnson and Luke Maye was solid enough against the front court of the Seminoles. Johnson accounted for 18 points and 10 rebounds. Maye produced 15 points and 11 rebounds. Nassir Little also chipped in with 18 points and 8 rebounds.

With the second half winding down, Little hit a turnaround push shot that was surrounded by a pair of threes from Maye. The second of Maye’s threes came off the glass from the top of the key. If the Seminoles thought they could make a comeback, that moment seemed to cause some hesitation. The lead was pushed to 12 points and moments later the Tar Heels were up 67-52 after a Johnson three.

Defensively, the Tar Heels held the Seminoles to 30.5 percent from the field. Terance Mann was the only player to reach double figures with 10 points. Despite the loss, the Seminoles are still in good shape for a double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Their next three games are at home.

 

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