CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — James Michael McAdoo hit the go-ahead shot in the lane with 3:09 left and Marcus Paige blocked Eric Atkins’ driving shot on the final play to seal No. 14 North Carolina’s 63-61 victory over Notre Dame on Monday night.
McAdoo finished with 14 points to lead the Tar Heels (23-7, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who blew a 14-point halftime lead and had to fight to the horn for their 12th straight win in their home finale. It is UNC’s longest winning streak since 2008-09.
It marked the second straight close win for the Tar Heels against a team in the lower third of the ACC standings, following Saturday’s 60-56 win at Virginia Tech. Still, they haven’t lost since Jan. 20 heading into Saturday’s finale at No. 4 Duke.
Atkins scored 21 points for Notre Dame (15-16, 6-12), which used a 22-5 run out of halftime to make a game of it.
McAdoo’s basket started a 6-0 burst that gave UNC a 61-56 lead with 90 seconds left, but Pat Connaughton’s three-point play cut the deficit back to two. Then, after Atkins’ driving layup with 8.6 seconds left, Paige — shooting 89 percent from the free throw line on the season — made just 1 of 2 with 6.6 seconds left to give Notre Dame one more shot to tie or win.
Atkins drove into the paint against McAdoo and Paige, but Paige knocked the ball away and the horn sounded to end it.
No. 1 UConn 68, No. 3 Louisville 48
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Breanna Stewart had 22 points and 14 rebounds and top-ranked Connecticut blew out No. 3 Louisville to complete an unbeaten regular season.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 13 points and 10 boards for the Huskies (31-0, 18-0 American Athletic Conference), who outrebounded Louisville (28-3, 16-2) 47-30 and outran the Cardinals to add the inaugural league title to their collection of Big East trophies. The defending NCAA champions also beat the Cardinals for the 14th straight time.