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March 1, 2007

Georgia Tech freshmen spark UNC upset

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ATLANTA - Thaddeus Young scored a career-high 25 points and Javaris Crittenton handed out 11 assists to help Georgia Tech beat No. 8 North Carolina 84-77 on Thursday night.

Losing consecutive road games in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time in three years, the Tar Heels (24-6, 10-5) missed a chance to hold onto a share of first place in the league following Virginia's win over Virginia Tech.

Anthony Morrow added 18 points for Georgia Tech.

Brandan Wright had 22 points to lead North Carolina. Tyler Hansborough added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels.

Wayne Ellington finished with 14 points, but missed a 3-pointer in the final minute that led to a pair of free throws by Mario West which put Georgia Tech ahead 80-73 with 55.5 seconds remaining.

Young drove the left baseline for a short runner at the 8:07 mark, matching Georgia Tech's biggest lead at 73-59.

But the Yellow Jackets (19-10, 7-8 ACC) failed to make a field goal after Zach Peacock's 12-footer from the right baseline made it 75-65 with 6:19 left.

The closest North Carolina got in the second half was 77-73 on a pair of Hansborough's free throws with 1:55 remaining.

Ty Lawson's layup at the 4:44 mark, cutting the lead to 75-70, gave the Tar Heels their final field goal.

Crittenton, who finished with 13 points, was 5-for-6 on free throws in the final 4:17.

North Carolina, attempting to secure a top seed in the NCAA tournament, was coming off a two-point loss at Maryland, where they led by 12 with seven minutes remaining before collapsing down the stretch.

Hansborough, who scored a career-high 40 points in a 77-61 win over Georgia Tech last season, hit a combined 28-for-34 free throws in his previous two games against the Yellow Jackets. He was 8-for-12 on Thursday.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, whose team hosts No. 18 Duke to end the regular season this weekend, missed a chance to win his 100th game with North Carolina.

Georgia Tech gave its NCAA tournament hopes a boost in beating an opponent with the nation's third-best RPI. The Yellow Jackets had dropped two of three after failing to hold a seven-point lead with 3:41 remaining in a 75-69 loss at Virginia last Sunday.

For more coverage of Georgia Tech, visit JacketsOnline.com; for more on North Carolina, visit TarHeelBlue.com.

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