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Off the cuff: Can you imagine the confidence Florida State would have if, after coming back from 25 down to beat Miami, they were told that UNC's Armando Bacot would play sparingly and score only one point against them?

I would have thought Carolina would crumble without Bacot contributions. But when the Heels - or any team for that matter - are hitting threes over and over, it's hard to beat that team.

Everyone knew that Carolina wouldn't hit 11 threes in the second half like the Heels did in the first half. And everyone knew the Seminoles were confident they could come back from big deficits. So, the 43-25 halftime lead wasn't safe.

The Heels answered every run however and it didn't get close until the last few minutes after the Heels hit only two of 11 shots.

After an 8-0 Seminole run, R.J. Davis took control with a driving bank shot. Then Leaky Black put the mojo on a defender and drove in for a baseline dunk. Finally Davis, with Carolina burning clock, pulled up for a 14-footer.

That calm, experienced answer wrapped it up.

"We're playing with a chip on our shoulder," Black said, "which we should have been doing since the start. It took our record getting to what it is to get there."

Black will be playing his final home game Saturday against rival Duke. "It will be an emotional day for sure," he said. "I want to make sure we get that W."

Carolina 77, Florida State 66
Tar Heels 'reign' threes to turn back FSU

North Carolina survived Armando Bacot's foul trouble and lack of production - he had one point - by draining 14 threes to hold off Florida State 77-66 in a big road victory. (2/27)

The Tar Heels used the three ball in the first half to open up a close game and take a 43-25 halftime lead.

"It's about time," UNC coach Hubert Davis said about the team's three-point proficiency. "I didn't think we'd hit 15 threes a game but I also don't think that we are the worst three-point shooting team in the league - and that's where we stand percentage-wise. We took good shots - they weren't quick shots or highly contested shots."

During a 10-0 run that put Carolina in control at 30-19, Pete Nance, Caleb Love and Leaky back hit back-to-back-to-back threes.

An R.J. Davis three and a Love three late in the first half gave the Heels a commanding 43-25 lead.

The lead hovered around 12 to 16 points most of the second half until Florida State, who came from 25 down to beat rival Miami Saturday, went on a run over the last five minutes to make it close.

A 9-0 Seminole run cut the deficit to just four at 64-60 with 2:45 to go. But Davis scored twice and Black used a pump fake at the three-point line to go in for an two-handed, over-the-head dunk to get the lead back up to eight with less than a minute to go.

Carolina free throws down the stretch extended the final margin to 11 to better reflect the game as a whole.

"I was proud of our response when they cut it to four," Coach Davis said. "R.J. made a couple of shots and we were able to get a couple of stops on defense."

Coach Davis said he felt the game was over after Black converted that late dunk but he was even more impressed with Black's defense on FSU's Darin Green, who he called one of the best shooters in the country. In this game, Green was just one of 11 from the floor, finishing with only five points.

Offensively, Black went six of eight and tied a career-high 18 points along with nine rebounds. Joining Black in double figures for the Heels were Davis, who led the way with 19 points; Love, who finished with 15 points and Nance, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

"This is a team," Coach Davis said referring to playing without contributions from the team's star player in Bacot. "When someone is struggling, somebody has to step up. We had other guys step up tonight."

In addition to the starters contributions, Coach Davis pointed to minutes provided by Dontrez Styles, who played 10 minutes, and Seth Trimble, who played nine minutes.

Florida State, now 9-21 overall and 7-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, was led by Caleb Mill's 19 points.

The Tar Heels, now 19-11 overall record and 11-8 conference, wraps up the regular season at home Saturday against Duke. Some Bracketologists believe Carolina needs to either win that game or go deep in the ACC Tournament to ensure an NCAA Tournament bid.

Box score

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