Entering Friday night’s conference semifinal games, many anticipated Duke and North Carolina wins to set up a championship rematch between the two rivals on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
No. 7 seed Virginia Tech had other plans, as the Hokies upset the Tar Heels in dominant fashion, 72–59, while Miami nearly played spoiler as well, fighting tooth and nail before falling to Duke, 80–76.
While Duke, Miami, and North Carolina are widely considered to be safely in the NCAA tournament field, Virginia Tech’s tournament hopes hung in the balance on Friday, as the Hokies needed to pick up another Quadrant I victory to feel better about their resumé.
Virginia Tech led by as many as 20 points in the second half before winning by 13, as the Hokies were paced by a smothering defensive performance and a career-high 20-point performance from sophomore wing Darius Maddox.
Saturday night will mark their first ACC championship game appearance.
In a back-and-forth affair in the first game of the night, Miami and Duke exchanged punch after punch before Duke pulled away in the final minutes. Blue Devils forward A.J. Griffin paced the offense with a team-high 21 points, while Paulo Banchero and Wendell Moore finished with 18 and 17 points respectively.
The tough loss for the Hurricanes spoiled a strong offensive performance by senior Kameron McGusty, who scored a game-high 24 points on 11 of 19 from the floor.
Here is the updated ACC tournament schedule (all times Eastern):
Saturday, March 12
8:30 p.m. — No. 1 Duke vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech (ESPN)
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