Notre Dame runs to ACC Tournament title, tops UNC, 90-82

storylogo2A 26-3 Notre Dame run put the Fighting Irish in command, and North Carolina, playing its fourth game in four days, ran out of steam late in a 90-82 Notre Dame win in the championship of the 2015 ACC Tournament.

UNC (24-11, 14-8 ACC) led 63-54 with 9:58 to go after starting the second half 9-of-12 from the field. A lightning-fast 13-0 Notre Dame run over the next 2:06 turned that around quickly, with back-to-back three-pointers by Steve Vasturia and Pat Connaughton in an 18-second span tying the game and then giving the Irish a 67-64 lead with 7:52 to go.

It didn’t end there. The Irish (29-5, 17-4 ACC) scored on 11 of 13 possessions in the stretch to open an 80-66 lead with 2:54 to go on a Connaughton dunk.

North Carolina twice cut the lead to six in the final minute, but Jerian Grant closed the game out for Notre Dame, hitting six free throws in the final 37 seconds after missing a pair of charity tosses with 47 seconds left on the clock.

Notre Dame shot 54.2 percent from the field and was 10-of-20 (50 percent) from three-point range. UNC shot 53.0 percent from the field, but struggled from three, hitting just 7-of-24 (29.2 percent).

Marcus Paige had 24 points for Carolina, going 9-of-18 from the field and 5-of-11 from three-point range. Brice Johnson had 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field.

Grant led five Notre Dame double-figure scorers with 24 points, going just 4-for-10 from the field, but hitting 15-of-18 from the foul line, and adding 10 assists.

Zach Auguste had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Irish.

Notre Dame was 28-of-32 from the line; North Carolina was 5-of-7.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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