Seventh seed Clemson (14-14) defeated eight seed Maryland earlier Friday night when Chrissy Floyd hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds to propel the Tigers a 63-61 win.
Carolina comes into the ACC hungry, having been upset by Virginia 69-59 in the final regular-season game for both teams. The Tar Heels shot a season-low 30.3 from the field and scored a season-low 59 points. They also tied their season-low for points in a half with 25 before halftime.
While UNC wasn't successful on the court this week, four Tar Heels did earn All-ACC honors. Coretta Brown was named All-ACC first team for the second year, Nikita Bell was named to the second team and Candace Sutton earned a spot on the third team. La'Tangela Atkinson led the All-Freshman Team and Bell claimed a spot on the All-Defensive Team.
Strong in tournament play, UNC's conference tournament record is 34-20 (.630), second only Maryland's record of 35-17 (.673). Carolina holds a winning record in tournament play against every conference school except for Maryland (1-5) and NC State (4-6). The Tar Heels are 22-12 in ACC Tournament play under coach Sylvia Hatchell.
North Carolina has played in seven of the last nine ACC Championship games and won four of the last nine titles. UNC's most recent crown was in 1998. The Tar Heels have won a total of five championships, second only to Maryland, which has won eight.
Fans may remember Tiger head coach Jim Davis has had some unpleasant things to say about Carolina and Coach Sylvia Hatchell in the recent past.
After the UNC win over Clemson January 16th at Littlejohn Coliseum, Coach Hatchell had to chase down Davis to get him to shake her hand. Davis ignored her at the scorer's table and headed over to do the postgame interviews until Hatchell caught him on the opposite sideline to shake hands.
"I have respect for every basketball coach in America. Except one," Davis stated later. When asked if the "one" was Hatchell, Davis said, "That's all I'm going to say ... The only comment I'll make about North Carolina is they got a team full of athletes. Period."
Davis did apologize the next day.
The Tar Heels beat the Lady Tigers twice during the season, 77-55 in Clemson on Jan. 16 and 70-66 in Chapel Hill on Feb. 16. UNC and Clemson last met in ACC Tournament play in 2001, when the second-seeded Lady Tigers beat the seventh-seeded Tar Heels 75-57 in a quarterfinals game.
Carolina is 6-5 against Clemson in ACC Tournament play and leads the all-time series 37-26.