(16) North Carolina 82

(18-10, 8-8 ACC)

(14) Georgia Tech 83

(23-8, 9-7 ACC)

    2:30 PM ET, March 12, 2004

    Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    #16UNC 39 4382
    #14GT 42 4183

    Jack scores with 1.4 seconds to go for win

    GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Roy Williams went to the party, stood around on the side for about two hours, then was one of the first guests to leave.

    Williams' first trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament as a head coach -- a four-day affair he likened this week to a "cocktail party" because of how meaningless he considers it to be -- was a short one Friday when No. 16 North Carolina was knocked out in an 83-82 loss to No. 14 Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals.

    "I didn't say I didn't like the tournament," Williams said. "I don't like it as much this year, there's no question, because we just got our butts beat and I'm going back home."

    The Tar Heels (18-10) have Jarrett Jack to blame for that.

    Jack hit a game-winning 15-footer with 1.4 seconds to play to save the Yellow Jackets (23-8) after they had blown an 11-point lead over the final 8:15.

    Georgia Tech trailed 82-81 after Sean May made one of two free throws to put the Tar Heels up with 9.8 seconds left.

    After a pair of timeouts, Jack inbounded the ball to Marvin Lewis and then scrambled for position on the court. He ended up all alone at the top of the key, where Lewis found him with a crisp pass that Jack fired through the net for the game-winner.

    "The play wasn't even designed for me, but I just found a seam in the defense and ripped the ball through," said Jack, both eyes locked on a nearby television showing a replay of his shot.

    "It was kind of scary how open I was. If nothing else, I knew I had to rim it to give us a chance. But it went through and there's nothing like being the hero in an ACC tournament game."

    While Jack was soaking up his moment, May was frustrated by North Carolina's up-and-down play, which included him making just one of two free throws and allowing Jack to get so open for the winning shot.

    "Jack was just open at the free-throw line -- I don't even know where everybody was," May said. "He hit a tough shot. It just hurts so bad when you're down 11 and you do everything you can to fight back with five guys on the floor scrapping for every little thing."

    May tried a quick inbound pass to Rashad McCants after Jack's shot, but Lewis stole the ball to seal the win and send the Yellow Jackets into the semifinals for the first time in three seasons.

    Fourth-seeded Georgia Tech will play top-seeded Duke on Saturday and coach Paul Hewitt credited Jack, who had 17 points, for getting the Yellow Jackets there.

    "He totally bailed me out and now we have an opportunity to play against another quality opponent," Hewitt said.

    All was not lost for North Carolina, the most storied program in ACC tournament history with 15 titles and 27 appearances in the championship game.

    The fifth-seeded Tar Heels are still headed back to the NCAA tournament after failing to earn an invitation the past two seasons -- exactly what Williams was recruited to do when his alma mater brought him back this season.

    But after watching North Carolina fail to put together 40 solid minutes against Georgia Tech, Williams isn't sure how long a run the Tar Heels will have in the NCAA tournament.

    "If you are a competitive youngster and realize that you've left a lot of things on the table throughout the course of the season, in my mind, you better be darned sure that there's nothing left on the table," Williams said. "I'm hopeful my team will have that kind of attitude."

    Luke Schenscher had 17 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for Georgia Tech. B.J. Elder added 16 points and Lewis had 11.

    May led North Carolina with 27 points and eight rebounds while McCants, the ACC's leading scorer during the regular season at 19.9 points a game, finished with 25. He went 10-for-10 at the foul line.

    Raymond Felton added 20 points for North Carolina.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    Jan 11, 2004 @UNC 103, GT 88Recap
    Feb 10, 2004 @GT 88, UNC 77Recap
    » Mar 12, 2004 @GT 83, UNC 82Recap