USA TODAY Sports
The Heels advance to the ACC Semifinals with a win over FSU as all eyes turn to P.J. Hairston's injured left hand.
A perfectly good game where UNC shook off some early first half execution woes to build nice 2nd half lead was ruined by yet another freak injury. This time it was P.J. Hairston who had the webbing of his hand split open causing him to bleed profusely all over the court. The injury required eight stitches and his status for Saturday is to be determined. Given how this sort of thing has gone for UNC of late, optimism doesn't feel like a viable option.
Up to the point, UNC had played well over the course of the game with Hairston leading the way. The sophomore made the most of playing in his hometown hitting five threes on his way to 21 points. James Michael McAdoo put together a solid first half scoring 10 of his 12 points but was limited to only 14 minutes by foul trouble. Still, it was Hairston and McAdoo who largely carried the Heels to an eight point halftime lead.
After intermission, FSU pulled to within four before UNC used a 13-0 run to open the game up. Reggie Bullock helped fuel the spurt with six points in a 27 seconds span. Bullock would scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and also collected nine rebounds. Also of note was the play of Marcus Paige, who effectively shook off two turnover ridden games to dish out 10 assists versus one turnover to go along with nine points.
Given McAdoo's foul trouble and FSU's size, UNC handled the adversity well and weather his absence. Jackson Simmons had three rebounds in 11 minutes and Desmond Hubert played well in ten minutes on the court. If Hairston cannot go against Maryland in the semifinals, UNC will need to fall back to the traditional lineup since, according to Roy Williams, there is no time to prep Reggie Bullock to play the four. The solace there is UNC did beat Maryland earlier in the season with the traditional bigger lineup. Hairston was 1-8 for three points in 25 minutes that day while Reggie Bullock had a career high. It is not ideal, but certainly doable providing Maryland is not playing out of their collective minds as they did against Duke.