WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Half the table is set for the biggest showdown of the year in college basketball.
Antawn Jamison scored 21 points and Shammond Williams had 20 for the Tar Heels (22-1, 8-1), who were on the ropes at Joel Coliseum for the fifth time in the last six seasons as the Demon Deacons (11-8, 3-5) matched the Atlantic Coast Conference record with 18 3-pointers - 12 in the first half.
North Carolina trailed 56-40 with 16:05 left before Wake Forest's outside shooting dried up and the Tar Heels found their inside and running games - and defense.
North Carolina had four chances to tie or take the lead before Makhtar Ndiaye scored his first points on a follow shot and Jamison added a fastbreak slam for a 64-62 lead with 5:02 left as Wake Forest was in the midst of an 0-for-10 shooting slump.
The lead reached eight with 1:47 remaining as Williams scored in the lane and on a dunk, and Vince Carter scored in the lane. Williams had 12 points during the Tar Heels' decisive run and Jamison nine, while nailing down the win with seven of eight free throws over the final 1:20.
North Carolina also had a series of key blocks by four different players during the comeback.
Robert O'Kelley led the Demon Deacons 25 points - 20 in the first half - while Steven Goolsby added a career-high 19 as Wake Forest also set an ACC record with 43 3-point attempts.
The Demon Deacons were 15-for-62 from 3-point range over their last three games, but went 12-of-21 in the first half against the Tar Heels. They made seven of their first 11 to open up a 17-point lead - the largest deficit for North Carolina this season.
O'Kelley made three of his six first-half 3-pointers during a span of 1:39 early in the game and then closed the half with two more shots behind the arc for a 48-36 Wake Forest lead.
Goolsby aalso had three 3-pointers as 12 of Wake Forest's 18 first-half baskets came from long range. The Tar Heels stayed in the game despite shooting 38.7 percent for the half by making 11 of 12 free throws.
At one point during the first half North Carolina - the nation's best shooting team at 54 percent - went seven minutes without a basket to dig its huge hole.
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