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Tar Heels Begin ACC Title Hunt Thursday

Tar Heels Begin ACC Title Hunt Thursday
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Tar Heels Begin ACC Title Hunt
Top-seeded North Carolina will begin its search for a sixth ACC Tournament title on Thursday when the Tar Heels take on No. 8 seed Miami at 3 p.m. in UNC's opening game of pool play.

The Tar Heels will take on No. 5 seed Clemson at 7 p.m. Friday before closing out pool play on Saturday against No. 4 seed NC State at 7 p.m.

All three games will be televised live on the Regional Sports Network along with ESPN3. Sunday's championship is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday and will be televised live on ESPN2.

News & Notes
• Carolina is 68-64 all-time at the ACC Tournament and claimed titles in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1990 and 2007.

• The Tar Heels will be the top overall seed in the tournament for the first time since 1990 and the sixth time overall. The previous five times as as the top seed Carolina has reached the final every time, including three championship wins.

• The Tar Heels closed out the regular season with the best regular season record in school history as they won 48 games, three more than the previous high. UNC is 9 wins shy of the school record for wins set in 2007.

• UNC's .857 winning percentage currently ranks tied for second in the country and would mark the first time since 1983 that a Tar Heel team finished the year with a winning percentage above .800.

• Carolina secured its second consecutive ACC Coastal Division title with its win over Virginia on Saturday. The Tar Heels have now won five Coastal Division titles - 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

• The win gave the Tar Heels their first ACC regular season title since 1990 and UNC claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 1990 as well.

• Carolina is the only team in the country that has not suffered a losing streak this season.

• The back-to-back series losses for the Tar Heels the last two weekends of the regular season marks the first time that UNC has lost two straight series since 2011.

• The Tar Heels became the second team since the introduction of the ACC Pitcher of the Year honor in 2005 to sweep the ACC Pitcher and ACC Player of the Year awards.

• Junior ace Kent Emanuel became the third Tar Heel to earn ACC Pitcher of the Year honors along with Alex White (2008) and Andrew Miller (2006).

•Junior third baseman Colin Moran became the seventh Tar Heel to be named the ACC Player of the Year and just the second since 1998.

• Joining Emanuel and Moran on the All-ACC First Team was senior first baseman Cody Stubbs. A pair of freshmen earned All-ACC Second Team honors as Skye Bolt and Trent Thornton were named to the team.

Colin Moran etched his named into the UNC record book against Virginia as he tied the UNC single season RBI record with his 83rd.

Colin Moran joined elite company in the Georgia Tech series as he drew his 50th walk of the year. Moran became the second player in UNC history to post 50 BBs, 60 Runs and 70 RBIs in a single season joining Dustin Ackley in 2009.

• North Carolina became the first team in the country to reach 40 wins with its 10-2 win over Charlotte and reached 45 wins for the seventh time in eight years with the 3-1 win at Georgia Tech. With two wins in the ACC Tournament Carolina will reach the 50-win mark for the sixth time in school history.

• The 2013 season marks the first time since 2009 that two Tar Heels have tallied at least 60 RBIs in a season when Dustin Ackley (73), Kyle Seager (62) and Mark Fleury (60) accomplished the feat.

• The trio of Kent Emanuel, Colin Moran and Cody Stubbs were all named among the 40 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the best player in college baseball as voted on by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

• UNC has outscored its opponents 175-39 in the first three innings this year and own the best scoring margin in the country at 5.2.

• Not only have the Tar Heels been scoring runs but they have also been limiting opponents as they currently own the third-lowest ERA in school history at 2.62 and would mark the second straight year with a sub-2.70 ERA.

• Carolina has been doing it in all phases this season thanks to a .975 fielding percentage, the second-best mark in UNC history.

• Carolina dropped to No. 2 in the latest RPI after holding the top spot the last three weeks. UNC will face No. 20 Miami, No. 12 Clemson and No. 7 NC State in the ACC Tournament.

North Carolina's ACC Tournament History
• Carolina will be making its 39th ACC Tournament appearance on Thursday having posted a 68-64 all-time record in the event.
• The Tar Heels are 21-5 as the top overall seed in the ACC Tournament and have reached the final game in the previous five years as the top overall seed.
• Since the 2007 ACC Tournament title season, the Tar Heels are 5-7 in their last four.

vs. Miami in ACC Touranment - 0-2; Last meeting - 2012: Miami 5, UNC 3
vs. Clemson in ACC Tournament - 11-16; Last meeting - 2009: Clemson 4, UNC 3 (11 inn.)
vs. NC State in ACC Tournament - 9-11; Last meeting - 2012: UNC 4, NC State 0 (12 inn.)

Probable Pitchers

Day North Carolina Opponent
Thur. LHP Kent Emanuel Miami - LHP Andrew Suarez
  (Jr., 9-3, 2.28 ERA, 102.2 IP, 79/20 K/BB) (So., 3-4, 3.13 ERA, 74.2 IP, 49/18 K/BB)
Fri. RHP Benton Moss Clemson - TBA
  (So., 8-1, 3.21 ERA, 75.2 IP, 78/28/KBB)  
Sat. LHP Hobbs Johnson NC State - LHP Carlos Rodon
  (Jr., 4-0, 2.18 ERA, 66.0 IP, 58/38 K/BB) (So., 8-2, 3.86 ERA, 91.0 IP, 137/38 K/BB)

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