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Tar Heels earn ACC basketball crown

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Harrison Barnes scored 18 points to help No. 13 North Carolina beat No. 4 Duke 81-67 on Saturday night, clinching the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship.

Kendall Marshall had 15 points and 11 assists as the Tar Heels (24-6, 14-2) ended a three-game losing streak to their fierce rival and earned the top seed in next week's ACC tournament. North Carolina also avenged last month's loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium in which the Tar Heels blew a 16-point lead in the first half.

Once again, the Tar Heels built a big lead in the first half, this time 14 points. But Barnes and the Tar Heels protected that margin Saturday and stayed in control the entire night in a game that had tension and energy befitting a postseason game.

Nolan Smith scored 30 points for Duke (27-4, 13-3), while Seth Curry had 20 points with six 3-pointers.

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