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Chapel Hill, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Brice Johnson posted 18 points and 14 rebounds as 15th-ranked North Carolina kept up its strong recent play with a 78-74 victory over Florida State. Marcus Paige added 19 points and Justin Jackson put up 14 in the Tar Heels ninth triumph in their last 10 outings. North Carolina (16-4, 6-1 ACC) will take a five-game win streak into a difficult upcoming stretch against Syracuse, Louisville and No. 2 Virginia. I think we are getting tougher and tougher every day, said Tar Heels center Kennedy Meeks, who finished with 12 points. We have a lot of guys out, so we are just trying to bring it together, really grind it out in practice and focus on what Coach (Roy Williams) is saying. Florida State (10-10, 2-5) hung tough for most of the afternoon, with Xavier Rathan-Mayes career-high 35 points keeping the Seminoles in it, before ultimately being dealt its fourth loss in its last five in ACC play. Though the Tar Heels were in front most of the way, their lead was just 67-63 with under five minutes remaining after Rathan-Mayes knocked down jumpers on consecutive possessions. The teams then traded free throws before North Carolina began to draw clear down the stretch. Jackson tipped in a Paige miss and J.P. Tokoto followed with a successful midrange shot after Rathan-Mayes missed a 3-point try, with the basket extending the lead to 71-63 with 2:57 to go. Florida State came up empty on its next four trips down the court as well, and the margin was 10 when Meeks scored inside for UNC with 46 seconds left. Defensively, we did everything we could to try to keep the ball out of the post, Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton said. There were a couple of occasions where they threw it over the top and got some easy buckets. I thought those two things are where we fell short. Rathan-Mayes buried a trio of 3-pointers thereafter, however, with the final one trimming FSUs deficit to 75-72 before Paige helped seal the outcome by making a pair of foul shots with 16 seconds to play. He was a difficult guy for us to guard, Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams said of Rathan-Mayes. Sometimes hed come off the screen and a big guy would be there, and the next time he would refuse a screen and beat a defender back to the basket. The Tar Heels opened up a 21-12 advantage nearing the midway mark of the first half after Paige scored the final five points of a 9-1 run, and the differential was 11 points when Tokotos bucket with five minutes left in the period put North Carolina up by a 30-19 count. Florida State then began to heat up offensively, hitting three straight shots to finish off a 12-3 spurt. The last of those makes, a 3-pointer from Devon Bookert, pulled the Seminoles within 33-31 prior to Jacksons jumper in the final minute that sent North Carolina into the break ahead by four. A 6-0 stretch staked the Tar Heels to a 54-45 lead with under 10 1/2 minutes remaining, and owned a 63-54 edge until another Booker trey ignited a 7-2 FSU flurry. Game Notes Rathan-Mayes previous career high was 26 points, set against the Citadel on Nov. 25 ... Johnson finished 7-of-9 from the field ... Tar Heels guard Nate Britt, questionable coming into the game after he sustained a lacerated lip that required 15 stitches in Wednesdays win at Wake Forest, did play and scored four points in 14 minutes ... North Carolina improved to 10-0 when Jackson scores in double figures ... The Tar Heels improved to 19-4 all-time against Florida State in Chapel Hill and have won five straight overall in the series. 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Ellis have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract.TORONTO - A year before the curtain goes up on the 2016 Rio Olympics, Canadas top summer athletes will be playing their hearts out on home soil.Toronto is hosting the 2015 Pan American Games — a direct Olympic qualifying event for many athletes, and a rare chance to compete in front of a Canadian crowd for virtually all of them.Canada is fielding its largest-ever Pan Am Games team of 700 athletes, and has set a goal of finishing second in the medals — behind perennial champion U.S. — with 160.Some 6,600 athletes from 41 countries will compete in 36 Pan Am sports — including 28 Olympic sports — plus 15 Parapan Am sports. Toronto beat out Lima, Peru and Bogota, Colombia, to host the Pan Ams, which run July 10-26. The Parapan Am Games are Aug. 7-14.Here are five Pan Am storylines to watch:The Road to Rio: When Canadas mens field hockey team edged Argentina in a sudden-death shootout at the 2007 Pan Ams in Rio, it clinched the Canadians a spot in the Beijing Games. It was one of the most memorable moments of Rio.Any time an Olympic berth is on the line its super exciting, said former Canadian field hockey captain Ken Pereira. We didnt play well throughout the tournament, all our games were close. But our best game was our finals versus Argentina. We were chasing and behind the whole game and tied it up with under three minutes.The Toronto Pan Ams will be an Olympic qualifier for 19 sports — either directly or indirectly — setting up some thrilling do-or-die moments. With direct qualifiers such as field hockey and mens water polo, its as simple as: win and go to Rio.Among the direct qualifiers: mens and womens field hockey, mens water polo, three-metre and 10-metre individual diving, all three equestrian events (dressage, eventing, jumping), handball, modern pentathlon, sailing (laser and laser radial), shooting (rifle, pistol and shot gun), table tennis and triathlon.---Games Debuts: A year before speedy winger Magali Harvey — the 2014 IRB womens player of the year — and her Canadian womens rugby teammates make their Olympic debut in Rio, theyll play in their first-ever Pan Am tournament. The mens game made its Pan Am debut in 2011, where Canada won gold. Golf, canoe slalom, and womens baseball will also make their Pan Am debuts in Toronto. The golf competition could provide a sneak peak of the Olympics. The sport was on the Olympic program in 19900 and 1904, and will finally make its Olympic return in 2016 in Rio.dddddddddddd---Non-Olympic sports: When Stubby Clapp hit his bases-loaded single in the 11th inning against the U.S. at the 1999 Pan Ams in Winnipeg, it put Canadian baseball on the map. Clapp became a household name. Baseball is one of eight non-Olympic sports at the Toronto Pan Ams. This will be their biggest multi-sport experience, and a chance to show they deserve to be on the Olympic program.I think it changed a lot of guys careers, Clapp said of the 99 Pan Ams. That tournament was important for me because I was able to showcase my individual talents, but it was more important for us as a country and as a program that was up and coming, and for all the guys who worked so hard to give our country a good baseball program.The seven other non-Olympic sports are water-skiing, wakeboard, racquetball, squash, baseball, softball, karate and bowling. ---Stars are Born: Perdita Felicien was just out of college when she won silver in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2003 Pan Ams in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Jamaican Brigitte Foster-Hylton won the gold. Weeks later, Felicien would go on to win the world championships, and she and Foster-Hylton would go on to be two of the worlds best for the next decade.The Pan Am games was the arena I needed to grow my competitive instincts as an athlete, Felicien said. Its a world class competition that builds champions, without it as a platform, I wouldnt have gone on to enjoy 10 years as one of the worlds best hurdlers.---The Controversy: Theres been criticism over the budget. It was originally announced at $1.4 billion — not including the $709 million cost of the athletes village — but is now expected to top $2.57 billion. Security costs were most recently in the news, with organizers estimating costs of $247.4 million, more than double the original estimate of $121.9 million in Torontos bid for the Games.Theres been staffing issues, including the firing of CEO Ian Troop a year ago.Traffic will be a concern for what some are already calling the Gridlock Games. With plans to implement HOV lanes to ferry athletes and officials, residents and businesses have been warned to look for transportation options for next summer. And the big question remains: Will Torontonians, with so many entertainment options, embrace the Games? 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