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North Carolina to play FSU for ACC championship

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan North Carolina's James Michael McAdoo (43) drives to the basket over North Carolina State's Richard Howell (1) during ACC men's college basketball tournament at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan North Carolina's James Michael McAdoo (43) drives to the basket over North Carolina State's Richard Howell (1) during ACC men's college basketball tournament at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Duke's Austin Rivers (0) drives to the basket under Florida State's Deividas Dulkys (4) during ACC men's college basketball action at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan North Carolina State's Lorenzo Brown (2) has an explosive dunk against North Carolina during ACC men's college basketball tournament at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan North Carolina's Harrison Barnes (40) takes a jump shot over North Carolina State's C.J. Williams (21) and C.J. Leslie (5) during ACC men's college basketball tournament at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Duke's Josh Hairston (15) drives to the basket against Florida State's Jon Kreft (50) during ACC men's college basketball action at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday.

ATLANTA -- No. 4-ranked North Carolina, playing without John Henson, survived. No. 6 Duke, without an injured player itself, wasn't so fortunate.

Florida State will be the Tar Heels' opponent in the ACC Tournament championship game today at Philips Arena and that could be just as intriguing in one way as a match-up against rival Duke, which had won three straight titles.

The No. 17-ranked Seminoles embarrassed North Carolina 90-57 in Tallahassee during the regular season and the Tar Heels will be shooting for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as well as another ACC title and some revenge.

North Carolina advanced to the 1 p.m. championship game on Kendall Marshall's short jumper with 10 seconds left, edging North Carolina State 69-67 on Saturday.

"Right now, we feel very fortunate to say the least," Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. "If you want to put lucky in there, you can say that as well."

The FSU-Duke semifinal also went down the wire, with the Seminoles (23-9) getting four clutch points in the final minute from Luke Loucks, their point guard, in the 62-59 win.

North Carolina will be playing in its 31st ACC championship game and second in a row after losing to Duke in Greensboro last year. It will be just the second for FSU, which lost to Duke in the 2009 title game at the Georgia Dome.

The No. 1-seeded Tar Heels are not likely to have Henson, who suffered a sprained left wrist during a spill Friday, for the game against FSU. He wore a dark suit, light blue shirt and striped tie on the North Carolina bench and had a great view of Marshall's late-game heroics.

Marshall, who set the ACC assist record this season, is noted for his playmaking rather than his shot-making. But with Tyler Zeller having fouled out and Harrison Barnes covered, the sophomore point guard stepped up at crunch time.

"We just wanted to get something going toward the rim and, thankfully enough, I was able to get it up to the backboard and it went in," Marshall said.

A left-hander, Marshall drove to his left with the shot clock ticking down and banked in a 10-footer on the move.

"We wanted to get the ball in (Harrison's) hands," Marshall said. "He does a tremendous job of taking and making those shots. But Lorenzo Brown did a tremendous job on defense on that play. By the time I got it back, we didn't have time to get into another set, and I was able to make the shot."

Barnes had tied the game by going 1-for-2 at the foul line with 58.6 seconds remaining and the Tar Heels got the ball back on a Wolfpack turnover with 43 seconds left.

After Marshall's tie-breaking basket, Justin Watts intercepted a N.C. State pass under the basket with five second remaining, but his long pass was intercepted. The Wolfpack got possession in the backcourt with 1.2 seconds left, enough time for another shot.

Richard Howell caught a long pass, but his shot attempt went awry as Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried and N.C. State fans screamed in vain for a foul.

The Wolfpack had lost leading-scorer C.J. Leslie on fouls with eight minutes left after two quick calls and the officiating was a sore point with N.C. State.

Asked about it afterward, Gottfried wouldn't take the bait. "You can't talk about that or you get fined," he said.

Zeller, who drew his fifth foul with 1:08 remaining, had 23 points and the ACC player of the year also grabbed nine rebounds. Barnes had 16 points and Marshall scored 12 to go with 10 assists.

Leslie had 22 points to lead No. 5 N.C. State (22-12). Lorenzo Brown contributed 16 points, six assists and four steals, while Howell had 11 points and a game-best 12 rebounds.

With Henson out, freshman James Michael McAdoo got his first start and scored nine points. But he had just two rebounds and Henson's shot blocking and interior defense was missed.

It was the 13th straight time that the Tar Heels have beaten the Wolfpack, but N.C. State still seems in line for a NCAA bid after winning twice in the ACC Tournament and throwing a scare at the North Carolina.

Duke lost Brian Kelly, their third-leading scorer, to a sprained ankle just before coming to Atlanta and know it will be no better than a No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament after losing to FSU.

Michael Snaer, who had 16 points and six assists, gave FSU the lead at 58-57 on a 3-pointer with 3:27 left and Loucks hit two free throws with a minute remaining.

After Austin Rivers drove the lane to score with 42 seconds on the clock, Loucks, who had just six points, nailed a long 2-pointer with 12 seconds left and the shot clock almost down.

Duke got off a pair of 3-point tries, the second after intercepting a FSU pass near midcourt. But neither Rivers nor Seth Curry could connect.

Rivers had 17 points and Curry 13, while Duke's Miles Plumlee had a game-best 11 rebounds. Bernard James had 13 points and seven rebounds for FSU, which had a 10-point lead five minutes into the second half.

After going to the wire against Duke, FSU now plays a team that it defeated by 33 points in January.

"We can't think about that game and try to use that or we're going to get beat," Snaer said. "It's North Carolina. It's not going to be easy."