EditorsNote: updates third graf with North Carolina’s next opponent
Luke Maye scored 19 points in the first game of his final Atlantic Coast Conference tournament as third-ranked North Carolina pulled away from Louisville to win 83-70 in Thursday night’s quarterfinal game in Charlotte, N.C.
Freshman guard Coby White, in his first postseason game, also scored 19 points, Cameron Johnson added 14 points and Garrison Brooks had 11 points for North Carolina, which has won eight consecutive games.
The second-seeded Tar Heels (27-5) advance to Friday night’s second semifinal against third-seeded Duke, which is ranked No. 6 in the country. The Blue Devils defeated sixth-seeded Syracuse 84-72 on Thursday.
North Carolina, the regular-season co-champion, has won 15 of its last 16 games since a January loss to Louisville.
Dwayne Sutton scored 14 points to lead the Cardinals (20-13), who won a night earlier against Notre Dame. Steven Enoch fouled out with 4:54 remaining after scoring 12 points, while Malik Williams and Darius Perry each posted 10 points for Louisville. Williams had 13 rebounds.
North Carolina shot 46.2 percent from the field with nine turnovers.
Louisville made 11 of 36 shots from 3-point range.
Louisville, the tournament’s seventh seed, close the deficit to 68-61 in the second half. But the Tar Heels were strong in some end-to-end action in transition and upped their edge to 76-61 with 6 1/2 minutes to play.
For the most part, North Carolina was in control throughout the game. The Tar Heels hit 9 of 10 shots during an early stretch. Their lead grew to 34-21.
Louisville responded with a 12-0 spurt. The Tar Heels regrouped for a 43-35 halftime lead.
North Carolina benefited from eight Louisville turnovers in the first half. The Cardinals missed nine of their last 10 shots of the half, though they had six 3-point baskets by the break.
It was a matchup of teams that split road victories during the regular season.
North Carolina improved to 22-7 in ACC tournament games played in Charlotte.
—Field Level Media