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Updated: Wednesday, February 25, 2004 2:42 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Virginia 74, (16) North Carolina 72

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (Ticker) -- Virginia's Todd Billet is getting used to knocking off ranked teams with his 3-point shooting. His latest victim was No. 16 North Carolina.

Billet's 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining lifted Virginia to a 74-72 Atlantic Coast Conference upset of North Carolina.

On February 14, Billet drained a 3-pointer with two seconds left to give the Cavaliers an 82-80 win over No. 15 Georgia Tech. Last Saturday, Billet's three pointer at Clemson with 16 seconds left gave Virginia a 58-55 victory.

"If I wasn't the coach at North Carolina, I would be very happy for Todd Billet," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "To have what's happened to him at the end of his senior year is fantastic. He has big-time guts and is willing to make the big-time plays."

After a lengthy stoppage due to an argument over how much time remained, North Carolina (16-8, 6-7 ACC) had a chance to tie or win on the last possession.

Virginia had three fouls to give. After fouling once, it attempted to do so again and jarred the ball loose from Raymond Felton, who recovered it, then shot an airball 3-pointer as the clock expired.

"That was a tremendous college basketball game," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. "We are very fortunate to have won this game; I'm very proud of this team."

Virginia closed the game with a 15-4 run over the final 6:43.

The Cavaliers hurt the Tar Heels by collecting 18 offensive rebounds many of which led to easy follow shots.

"The bottom line is we have to rebound," Williams said. "We can't give them those opportunities."

Devin Smith scored 20 points for Virginia (15-10, 5-9), which won for just the third time in nine games. Smith has been slowed with an injured back.

"I can't belive the play of Devin Smith," Gillen said. "He gets 20 points in 23 minutes (and) he hasn't practiced in six weeks because he's in too much pain."

Sean May led the Tar Heels with 20 points. Rashad McCants was held to eight on 3-of-9 shooting as Virginia's box-and-1 zone clearly affected the ACC's leading scorer.


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