After helping North Carolina turn its season around, P.J. Hairston nearly carried the Tar Heels to an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship.
Hairston scored 28 points with six 3-pointers in Sunday's 87-77 loss to No. 9 Miami in the final. That capped a weekend of big performances in his hometown despite a cut on his non-shooting hand that required him to wear a padded bandage for the last two games.
''It felt fine,'' Hairston said. ''Didn't bother me at all. I mean, just the thought of me having stitches in my left hand, it stopped me from kind of trying to reach or trying to do certain things, but I still played through it regardless.''
The 6-foot-5 sophomore scored 21 points with five 3-pointers in Friday's quarterfinal win against Florida State, though he suffered the cut to the webbing between his left middle and ring fingers - a wound that required eight stitches. He returned for Saturday's semifinal against Maryland and finished with 13 points and two more 3s.