They traded free throws before Carolina converted on Hansbrough’s jumper with .08 left on the clock for the 68-66 win.
The Hokies did almost everything they needed to do to defeat the Tar Heels, but they made one critical mistake. They let UNC hang around. When good teams hang around they frequently end up on top. Virginia Tech went cold (tired?) at the worst possible time, and as poorly as Carolina was playing and shooting, the Tar Heels snuck back in the game.
The Hokies led from 22-21 until 1:28 was left in the game, but they could never get more than three possessions in front.
Both teams had issues. Danny Green was having a miserable day until he tapped the ball to Hansbrough on the winning play. Wayne Ellington left his body and the building for most of the game, and Ty Lawson is simply still not himself.
The Hokies’ Deron Washington continues to be Mr. Highlight/Lowlight with a spectacular dunk on an inbounds pass and a dumb foul on Ellington who was shooting a late off-balance three-pointer. A.D. Vassallo was rock solid all day, and watch out for the Hokies next year as four freshmen played major roles in a tough to swallow loss.
North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, right, shoots the game-winning basket as Virginia Tech's Hank Thorns, left, defends during North Carolina's 68-66 win in the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament at Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)