Irish annihilated by UNC in ACC semifinals

Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson, left, consoles Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson, center as they sit on the bench with Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste (30) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Friday, March 11, 2016, in Washington. North Carolina defeated Notre Dame 78-47. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – With Marcus Paige leading the way, No. 7 North Carolina scored 24 consecutive points over a 9 1/2-minute span bridging halftime and easily beat defending champion Notre Dame 78-47 on Friday night for a spot in the ACC Tournament final.
UNC (27-6) reached its record 34th ACC title game and fifth in the past six years. But the Tar Heels have gone 0-4 in finals in that span, including a loss to the Fighting Irish a year ago.
UNC will meet Virginia or Miami on Saturday.
Whatever doubts there might have been about the Tar Heels as the NCAAs approach — Could they succeed without much from leading scorer Brice Johnson? Could Paige pull out of his shooting slump? Could the team display enough defensive toughness? — were wiped away during the game-changing run.
In sum, this was relentless and riveting. And it all happened with Johnson on the sideline, sitting with two fouls.

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