Tar Heels fend off Fighting Irish to earn Final Four spot

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)_ North Carolina will be the lone No. 1 seed at the Final Four in Houston. The Tar Heels repelled a spirited Notre Dame comeback to beat the Irish 88-74 to win the East Regional. North Carolina is in the Final Four for a record 19th time, and the first since the Tar Heels won it all in 2009.

The Tar Heels had built an 11-point lead in the second half, lost it but regained their composure to regain the lead and win handily. Brice Johnson led the Tar Heels with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Marcus Paige added 13 points as all five North Carolina starters hit double figures.

The other two spots in the national semifinals in Houston were determined Saturday night with Villanova and Oklahoma advancing. They will play the first game next Saturday.

The championship game is Monday, April 4.

AP-WF-03-28-16 1149GMT

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