Men's College Basketball
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Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Recaps
(Friday, March 14th)

Final Score: (6) Virginia 64, Florida State 51

Greensboro, NC ( - Joe Harris scored 20 points and Anthony Gill added 16, leading sixth-ranked Virginia to a 64-51 victory over Florida State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

No other Cavalier scored more than six, but the strong team effort was enough to send Virginia into its first ACC Tournament semifinal since 1995. The Cavaliers (26-6) will next play Pittsburgh, an 80-75 winner over No. 15 North Carolina.

Virginia was coming off an overtime loss at Maryland in its regular-season finale last Sunday, a setback that ended a 13-game winning streak. The Cavaliers, however, had already secured the top seed in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 1981. Their lone tournament title came way back in 1976.

"We hadn't played for a while," said Virginia coach Tony Bennett. "This is a great opportunity for us. I thought our guys were ready. We wanted to set the tone."

Okaro White scored 17 points and Aaron Thomas chipped in 13 for the Seminoles (19-13), who beat Maryland in the second round on Thursday and now sit squarely on the bubble for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

Virginia carried a 32-27 lead to the intermission and London Perrantes drilled a 3-pointer to start the second half. The Seminoles never really recovered.

Florida State trimmed the deficit to six a few times, the last at 39-33 on a jumper by Ian Miller. A basket by Devon Bookert a few minutes later kept the Seminoles within single digits, but the Cavaliers put it away with the next seven points.

Harris ignited the burst with three and Darion Atkins scored the next four, canning two from the stripe with 9:51 remaining for a 52-37 cushion.

The Seminoles trailed by double-digits the rest of the way.

"I was pleased with the first 15 or so minutes of the game," said Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton. "The second half, it was obvious that the quality of their depth took its toll on us. We didn't quite have nearly the energy to fight those screens for the long periods of time. And I thought that really made the difference."

Florida State opened the game with the first two buckets and built a 9-5 lead early, but Harris keyed a 9-2 burst with a three as Virginia moved in front by a 14-11 margin midway through the first half.

A triple by Perrantes snapped a 23-23 tie with just over three minutes left and Virginia never trailed again. The Cavaliers went into the break with a 32-27 advantage after Gill drained a jumper from the lane at the buzzer.

Game Notes

Virginia snapped a four-game ACC tourney losing streak ... Perrantes' only points came on his two triples ... Atkins also finished with six points, while Malcolm Brogdon overcame a 2-for-10 shooting effort with nine rebounds for the Cavaliers ... Miller finished with 10 points in defeat ... The Seminoles lost all three meetings with Virginia this season, falling by 12 points in each of the regular-season matchups ... This marked the first meeting between Virginia and Florida State in the ACC Tournament.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 80, (15) North Carolina 75

Greensboro, NC ( - Talib Zanna led the way with 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, as Pitt raced out to a huge lead then hung on to knock off No. 15 North Carolina by a 80-75 count in ACC quarterfinal action.

"I was really proud of our guys. I was really excited about how we played," said Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon. "Beat a very good team. Talib wasn't healthy, Lamar wasn't healthy, I told our guys we went in expecting to win this game. That was our thought process going into it and I thought our guys did a great job."

James Robinson added 19 points, six boards and four steals for the fifth- seeded Panthers (25-8), who advance to take on Virginia in a Saturday semifinal. Lamar Patterson had 12 points and Cameron Wright contributed 11 for the winners.

"We lost at the buzzer, so that game could have went either way. We'll be ready for it," Robinson said of the rematch with the Cavaliers after a close meeting in the regular season. "We can play with them or we can play with anybody in the country we feel like. So we'll be ready to go. We'll have our minds and body ready."

Marcus Paige poured in a game-high 27 points before fouling out late for the Tar Heels (23-9), who dropped two in a row after winning 12 straight. Brice Johnson totaled 16 points and six rebounds for the four seed, with James McAdoo adding 15 points and seven boards.

North Carolina didn't wake up until the late stages, trimming a 15-point deficit with 3:21 remaining into a four-point spread, 75-71, after Paige connected on two free throws with just over a minute left.

He fouled out with 25.4 on the clock, but Wright bricked both his attempts. Nate Britt was then forced to foul Robinson, and he made 1-of-2 for a five- point spread. Britt countered on a long two, and it was 78-75 with 11.4 showing.

Robinson added two more from the line to give Pitt an 80-75 edge, and after McAdoo missed a trey, Patterson went to the charity stripe after grabbing the defensive board. Though he missed both, the Tar Heels did not release a final shot.

Needless to say, it's extremely disappointing to play the way we did the first 30, 32 minutes of the game," noted North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. "We were in too much of a rush on the offensive end of the floor. We had some good shots the first three or four possessions and then they didn't go in and we started really rushing thing s and that's how it got to be the margin."

Pitt was in control from the outset, jumping out to an 8-3 edge. UNC scored the next four, but was helpless to stop a 19-2 surge which created an 18-point gap inside of six minutes left in the half. Robinson totaled nine in the stretch.

North Carolina regained equilibrium, and closed within 36-26 at the break after Paige completed a three-point play and McAdoo sank a jumper.

McAdoo's two from the line managed to pull UNC within 41-31, but Zanna's back- to-back tip-ins fueled a quick 9-2 surge and Pitt was up 50-31 after Wright's jumper with 11:40 to play.

Young completed a three-point play three minutes later and the Panthers' margin ballooned to 19, at 57-38.

Game Notes

Pitt shot 52 percent (27-of-52) from the floor in the contest, including 5- of-13 from long distance ... North Carolina committed only 12 turnovers and forced the Panthers to give up possession 15 times ... Britt led all players with three blocks ... The Panthers were sent to the free-throw line 41 times, but made only 21 shots, with UNC making 21-of-32.

Final Score: North Carolina State 66, (11) Syracuse 63

Greensboro, NC ( - T.J. Warren and North Carolina State got its revenge against Syracuse, with the conference Player of the Year depositing 28 points to lead the Wolfpack to a profile-building 66-63 win over the 11th-ranked Orange in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

Nearly a month after dropping a 56-55 heartbreaker to the then-unbeaten Orange in the Carrier Dome, a Wolfpack team squarely on the NCAA bubble enhanced their credentials and advanced to a third straight ACC semifinal behind a sound defensive effort and clutch shooting down the stretch.

Ralston Turner's 3-pointer with 2:28 remaining snapped a 59-59 tie, and N.C. State (21-12) survived a frantic sequence in the final seconds in which Syracuse missed six consecutive shots on its last possession.

Warren added eight rebounds and Jordan Vanderberg scored 10 points for the seventh-seeded Wolfpack, who will face seventh-ranked Duke in Saturday's semis. The No. 3 seed Blue Devils moved on with a 63-62 decision over Clemson in Friday's last quarterfinal.

"I don't know if I could be more proud of a group than I am of my team," said Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried. "Obviously, Syracuse is a great team. They're so long and athletic and can score the ball. Their zone gives you so many problems, but our guys just seemed to stay the course, not get frustrated, just stay with it and stay with it. And we had answers because of our resiliency."

Playing its first-ever conference tournament game other than the Big East, Syracuse (27-5) had its fate sealed by poor shooting. The Orange made good on just 32.7 percent of its field goal attempts in its fifth defeat in seven outings since beginning the season 25-0.

"I think we shot the ball badly and it's hard to recover when you're not shooting the ball well," Orange head coach Jim Boeheim remarked. "It's very difficult to win."

Tyler Ennis nearly led the Orange back from a 10-point deficit in the second half, netting 15 of his 21 points after the break while dishing out seven assists. Jerami Grant finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Syracuse briefly overcame its offensive woes by excelling on the defensive end while putting together a 12-2 run to claim a 59-57 lead with under four minutes left. After a pair of Anthony Barber free throws drew the Wolfpack even, Turner banked in a long three off the glass to break the deadlock with 2:28 left.

N.C. State still led by three entering the final minute, but the Orange's Rakeem Christmas altered Barber's shot while driving to the hoop and Michael Gbinije scored on the other end to cut Syracuse's deficit to 64-63 with 26.4 seconds to go. Warren then made both free throws after being immediately sent to the line, setting the stage for the wild finish.

Ennis misfired from inside the arc and Grant couldn't finish in close after grabbing the rebound, but Syracuse kept maintaining possession and got off four more attempts -- two from Trevor Cooney and one each from Ennis and C.J. Fair -- from 3-point range.

All missed the mark, with Cooney's desperation heave with time winding down coming up an air-ball and landing out of bounds to seal the outcome.

"I was saying to myself, 'can we just get a rebound, just somebody grab the ball?," Gottfried said. "We escaped on that one, obviously, right there. But, you know, sometimes those kind of things balance out in life. You know, you have a tough one earlier in the year where we didn't finish the game. Today, maybe fate was on your side on that last possession."

The Wolfpack appeared on their way to an easier victory after embarking on a 13-3 tear that snapped a 37-37 deadlock early in the second half. Turner began the surge with a trey and Warren ended it with a midrange jumper that staked N.C. State to a 50-40 lead with 11 minutes left.

A 7-2 spurt by the Orange quickly trimmed the margin to five. Turner then drained another three to shortly reverse the momentum, though Syracuse scored the next seven points to pull within 55-54 with 5:23 remaining on Christmas' dunk off a Grant feed.

N.C. State didn't make a basket for over five minutes after Turner's aforementioned trey, allowing Syracuse to continue move ahead for the first time since three minutes were left in the opening half. Three straight trips to the foul line resulted in five straight Orange points, with Fair going 1- of-2 from the stripe to put Syracuse up by a 59-57 count with 3:41 to play.

"I thought we really made some unbelievable steals to get back in it," Boeheim said. They had the game pretty much under control. We made a couple of really good steals in our traps and got down and gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game. But we made some bad plays down the stretch."

Both teams struggled to shoot the ball for the majority of the opening half, with N.C. State missing 12 of its first 14 attempts and the Orange starting out a cold 3-of-18 from the field. The Wolfpack began to find some success against Syracuse's patented zone over the latter stages of the period, however, to take a slim lead at the break.

Tyler Lewis knocked down an open look from 3-point range with 2:05 left in the half and Warren hit a jumper on the Wolfpack's next possession, with the basket giving N.C. State a 27-23 edge entering the final minute.

The Wolfpack entered the intermission with a 28-25 advantage, having limited the Orange to a 25.9 percent shooting percentage for the first half.

Game Notes

Fair, Syracuse's leading scorer on the season, was held to nine points on 3- of-16 shooting, while Cooney managed just five while going 1-of-6 on 3-point tries ... The Orange outrebounded N.C. State by a 36-33 margin, marking only the second time this season they lost when winning the battle on the glass ... Warren finished with 23 points in the Wolfpack's narrow loss at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 15.

Final Score: (7) Duke 63, Clemson 62

Greensboro, NC ( - Rodney Hood hit two free throws with 3.8 seconds left, enabling seventh-ranked Duke to survive a stiff challenge from Clemson and come away with a 63-62 decision in an ACC Tournament quarterfinal.

The Blue Devils (25-7) moved on to the tournament semis for the 15th time in the last 17 editions, though it was anything but a cakewalk. Clemson overcame a 13-point deficit with under 12 minutes left to grab a 63-62 lead on Rod Hall's basket with 7.4 remaining.

Hood was fouled by K.J. McDaniels while driving the lane on the ensuing possession, however, and capped a 17-point night by sinking both bonus attempts to send Duke back in front.

'It's really one of the best plays for us that a player can make, to just take it down the court like that," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski of Hood's decision. "And then get a one-and-one, not two shots, and to hit those two free throws is just huge."

The Blue Devils, who fell 72-59 to the Tigers in the teams' lone regular- season meeting this year, then held on when Hall was stripped off the ball by Tyler Thornton while penetrating to attempt the potential game- winner.

Jabari Parker added 18 points and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 14 to help send the third-seeded Blue Devils into Saturday's matchup with No. 7 seed North Carolina State, which pulled off a 66-63 upset of 11th-ranked Syracuse earlier in the evening.

Hall finished with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while McDaniels had 12 points for Clemson (20-12).

"Obviously this is a difficult defeat," said Tigers head coach Brad Brownell. "Couldn't be prouder of my players. To show the resiliency we did throughout the game, especially in the second half when we looked like we were dead again. Our guys just have a lot of fight. They just kept coming."

Duke appeared on its way to a relatively sweatless victory after Quinn Cook's 3-pointer with 12:23 remaining staked the Blue Devils to a 47-34 advantage. The margin was 10 midway through the second half when Clemson began to catch fire and change the game's momentum.

Two straight buckets by Landry Nnoko ignited a 13-6 Tigers run that culminated with back-to-back threes from Damarcus Harrison and Hall, with the latter pulling Clemson within 56-53 with 3:50 left to play. The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes before Harrison went coast-to-coast after Sulaimon misfired on a corner 3-point try to cut the lead to one, 60-59, with 1:43 remaining.

Sulaimon made 1-of-2 from the line on the ensuing possession and McDaniels was fouled by Amile Jefferson on Clemson's next trip down the court. The 85 percent free-throw shooter hit the first attempt but left the second short, keeping the Tigers still on the short end of a 61-60 score.

Sulaimon then threw up a wild layup with the shot clock winding down that was well off the mark, and Hall sped down the court and dropped in a nifty runner off the glass that sent Clemson in front with just 7.4 ticks left.

The Blue Devils got the ball inside to Hood, who got the call as he put up an off-balance shot amidst an angry protest from the Clemson bench. He calmly sank both tries from the line, and the Blue Devils survived when Hall dribbled the ball off Sulaimon's shoulder as he fell down while appearing to draw contact.

"Coach knew he wanted to get me the ball and I tried to make something happen at the rim and the referee didn't call nothing," said Hall. "So I just had to deal with it."

Duke, which was held to just 40 percent shooting by the Tigers' persistent defense, jumped out to a 13-6 lead seven minutes in before Clemson countered with an 11-4 surge to pull even with 6:51 left in the first half. The game remained tight over the remainder of the period, with the Blue Devils entering the break up 29-25 following consecutive dunks from Hood and Parker.

The Blue Devils began to create some distance during the early stages of the second half, putting forth an 11-2 burst to claim its largest lead of the night.

Sulaimon netted the first four points of the run, which concluded on a Thornton 3-pointer and Hood's successful jumper that increased Duke's lead to 42-29 with just over 14 minutes left.

Game Notes

Clemson shot 51.2 percent (22-of-43) from the field, but went just 4-of-16 from 3-point range ... Duke has now won 15 of its last 16 quarterfinal tests in the ACC Tournament, having a 14-game streak snapped with last year's loss to Maryland ... The Blue Devils improved to 37-16 all-time in tournament games held at the Greensboro Coliseum ... Jefferson finished with 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass ... Duke blew out N.C. State in its lone encounter with the Wolfpack this season, rolling to a 95-60 victory in Durham on Jan. 18.

03/15 02:42:33 ET

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