17 points from ACC Rookie of the Year Diamond DeShields led Carolina to a 69-65 come-from-behind victory over Wake Forest on Thursday night to advance into the quarters against the Terrapins.
The sixth-seeded Tar Heels improved to 23-8 on the season with the win last night. Maryland enters the game ranked eighth nationally with a 24-5 record.
UNC is ranked 13th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 12 in the Coaches' Poll.
Diamond DeShields was named ACC Freshman of the Year on Wednesday and first team All-ACC on Tuesday. Allisha Gray and DeShields landed on the ACC All-Freshman Team.
AT A GLANCE
Records: North Carolina 23-8, Maryland 24-5
Rankings: North Carolina is ranked No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the coaches' poll. Maryland is eighth in the AP, No. 5 in the coaches' poll.
TV: ACC Regional Sports Network (FS Carolinas in the Chapel Hill area). Mike Hogewood and Debbie Antonelli have the call.
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network, a division of Learfield Communications. Walter Storholt has the call.
CAROLINA IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
• UNC has the best winning percentage (.682, 58-27) and the most wins (58) in ACC Tournament history.
• Carolina has won nine ACC titles - 1984, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 - the second-most in league history. Maryland has 10.
• The Tar Heels have appeared in the final in 15 of the last 20 years, with 1996, 2001, 2009, 2010 and 2012 being the only years UNC wasn't in the final.
• UNC has appeared in nine of the last 12 finals.
• Of the previous 36 ACC Tournaments, 27 have seen Carolina advance to at least the semifinals.
• The Tar Heels improved to 4-2 in three tournaments (1988, 2011, 2014) as the sixth seed.
• UNC last appeared as the No. 6 seed in 2011 and would become just the third team in tournament history seeded 6th or higher to make the championship game. Carolina lost 81-66 to Duke in the finals.
MARYLAND SERIES NOTES
• North Carolina is 38-37 all-time against Maryland, but only 4-7 in the ACC Tournament. Carolina won last year in the semifinals and is 4-2 against the Terps in the last six meetings in the tournament.
• Maryland won 79-70 over the Tar Heels on Jan. 5 in the only regular season meeting. The Terrapins led for all but about 90 seconds but let much of an 18-point lead slip before holding on for the win. Stephanie Mavunga scored 15 points, Latifah Coleman had 13 and DeShields added 12 points for the Tar Heels.
DeSHIELDS EARN FIRST-TEAM ALL-ACC HONORS; JOINS GRAY ON ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Diamond DeShields earned first team All-ACC honors on Tuesday, as voted on by the Blue Ribbon Panel. Additionally, DeShields and teammate Allisha Gray both landed on the ACC All-Freshman Team.
DeShields and Gray are among a group of only 10 UNC freshmen to ever score 400 points in a season, and are the first pair of freshman teammates to score that many points in a season since Ivory Latta and Camille Little in 2003-04.
DeSHIELDS NAMED ACC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Diamond DeShields was named Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday. DeShields is the eighth Tar Heel to win the award and combines with teammate Xylina McDaniel in giving Carolina the last two award winners. In the victory over Duke on Sunday, DeShields became the first Carolina freshman to ever score over 500 points in a single season. Earlier in the season, she scored 38 points at NC State to set a school mark.
The next day following the win over the Wolfpack, DeShields was named national player of the week by espnW and the USBWA after her performance in three games that saw her average 29.0 points per game, helping the Tar Heels earn road wins over #3 Duke and #10 NC State in a span of six days. That same day she was also named ACC Player of the Week, becoming the first freshman to garner the award since Duke's Monique Curry in March 2002.
DeShields is the only freshman listed on the final Wooden Award 15-player ballot.