UNC Basketball falls to NC State in 2024 ACC Tournament championship game

It wasn't the best performance by any means for the UNC basketball program, as NC State defeated the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament title game on Saturday night.
North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

NC State came to play on Saturday night, as the No. 10-seeded Wolfpack made history by knocking off the No. 1-seeded UNC basketball program in the 2024 ACC Tournament title game.

NCST. 84. 2272. Final. 76. 441

For the first time in 37 years, the Wolfpack have won the ACC Tournament, as they have secured an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Without the win on Saturday night, it's likely that Kevin Keatts' team wouldn't have made the big dance at all.

The Wolfpack had to win five consecutive games, knocking off Duke, Virginia and North Carolina in the process. Give them credit: for a team that isn't just banged up, winning five games in five days while playing at the level they played on Saturday night is rather impressive to say the least.

As for the UNC basketball program, it was a struggle throughout. NC State struck first, building a 10-point lead, as the Tar Heels were playing catch up the entire first half. It wasn't until a Cormac Ryan three pointer at the buzzer to put the Tar Heels up one heading into the break.

The Wolfpack took advantage in the second half, as their shots continued to fall. Overall, NC State shot 54.9% from the floor, including 42.9% from three-point range. To put it into perspective, the Wolfpack made just three of 17 three point attempts against Virginia the night before, while they hit three of their first four three point attempts within the first four minutes of the game against the Tar Heels.

DJ Burns was a handful (literally) for the Tar Heels to deal with, as the big man scored 20 points and had seven assists. When the Tar Heels doubled him, Burns found the open man. When they elected to allow Armando Bacot to handle the matchup, Burns used his size to his advantage to get to the rim.

DJ Horne led all scorers with 29 points, while Mohamad Diarra hauled in 14 rebounds in the win.

RJ Davis led the Tar Heels with 30 points, but it took him 26 shots to get to that point. Bacot had a strong night, scoring 18 points while hauling in 12 boards.

Other than the Tar Heels captains, the rest of the team STRUGGLED from the floor. North Carolina connected on just eight of 30 three-point attempts, as there seemed to be no offensive flow whatsoever, leading to a lot of iso ball for RJ Davis.

The UNC basketball program essentially seemed out of sync, as the Wolfpack clearly wanted this game more. Of course, North Carolina is locked into the upcoming NCAA Tournament, but a lot was on the line for NC State, as they came out and closed out a historic week in Washington, DC in style.

Up next for the Tar Heels is the NCAA Tournament, as we'll wait to see where they are seeded on Selection Sunday.

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