The game started off as a madcap barrage of three-pointers. Miami and North combined for 15 shots from beyond the arc in the first half alone. It was a thrilling back-and-forth battle with 14 lead changes. The Hurricanes went into halftime up 44-41.
The second half was more of the same -- plenty of points on both sides and neither team managing to pull away. North Carolina held its biggest lead of the day, 63-58, with 10:53 left in the game, but Miami rattled off a 14-6 run to take the lead for good. A series of free throws at the end of the game inflated the final score.
The Hurricanes shot 50.8 percent from the field and sank 12 of 22 three-pointers in total. North Carolina made 45.0 percent of their field goals, including 13 of 29 three-pointers. Shane Larkin had one of his best games of the season, leading the Hurricanes with 28 points, 4 of 7 threes and seven assists. Trey McKinney Jones was also hot behind the arc, raining down 6 of 9 threes.
P.J. Hairston was the big hero of the day in a losing effort. Despite having a stitched up hand wrapped in bandages, Hairston racked up 28 points and 6 of 13 three-pointers, keeping North Carolina on Miami's heels all game. Unfortunately, he also had foul problems and was forced to sit out for stretches at a time. The Tar Heels sorely missed him when he was on the bench.
With the win, Miami is locked into the NCAA tournament. They should get no worse than a No. 2 seed, but still have an outside shot at a No. 1 seed. They will know their fate for certain in a few hours. North Carolina is also dancing and expected to be seeded somewhere in the No. 7-10 range.