UNC Basketball program clinches spot in ACC Tournament championship game

The UNC basketball program conquered the challenge Pittsburgh presented en route to a win in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday night.

North Carolina v Pittsburgh
North Carolina v Pittsburgh / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The UNC basketball program was definitely tested in the ACC Tournament semifinals, but the Tar Heels once again found a way to come out with a win.

Final. 65. 444. UNCPITT. 72. 441

Behind a dominant performance from Armando Bacot, the UNC basketball program defeated Pittsburgh to advance to Saturday night's ACC Tournament championship game. The Tar Heels will take on the winner of the other semifinal game between NC State and Virginia.

The Tar Heels had their hands full with Carlton Carrington, Pittsburgh's freshman guard. Carrington scored 24 points, including 16 in the first half, as he essentially carried the Panthers to a two point lead heading into the break.

To add to the freshmen success, fellow freshman Jaland Lowe was also outstanding, contributing 17 points of his own for Pittsburgh.

Now, you might be wondering, what about Blake Hinson?

Well, Harrison Ingram and Jae'Lyn Withers did a outstanding job of essentially taking one of the ACC's top scorers out of the game. Hinson, who averages over 18 points per game, was limited to just five points on 2-12 shooting, a huge turning point in this game.

The game was back and forth in the second half, but North Carolina found a way to pull away for good. Armando Bacot had arguably his best overall performance of the season as he impacted the game on both sides of the floor. Bacot was demanding double teams on offense, picking his spots wisely to either drive to the hoop or to pass to an open teammate, and was a strong force in the post on the defensive side of the ball.

Although it wasn't his most efficient night offensively, RJ Davis hit some timely shots to help the Tar Heels secure the win. His three pointer with the Tar Heels up six felt like the dagger, as the ACC Player of the Year still found a way to score a game-high 25 points.

Of course there are things that the Tar Heels would love to have cleaned up in this one, but the toughness and grit they showed in the second half is what championship level teams are made of. Now, the goal is to win one more in Washington DC, as North Carolina is one win away from securing another banner.

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