DUKE ROCKS N.C. STATE IN ACC SEMIS 75-67; WILL FACE VIRGINIA FOR TITLE SUNDAY
Jabari Parker scored 20 points and No. 7 Duke beat North Carolina State 75-67 on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinal.
Rasheed Sulaimon added 16 points for the third-seeded Blue Devils (26-7) while Rodney Hood had 14 points and keyed the defensive effort against ACC player of the year T.J. Warren.
Duke earned its 31st championship game appearance and first since 2011.
The Blue Devils will play No. 6 Virginia on Sunday. Duke’s 69-65 win in January stood as the Cavaliers’ lone conference loss until Maryland beat them last week.
Warren scored 21 points but was just 4 of 13 after halftime while facing a barrage of double teams.
The seventh-seeded Wolfpack (21-13), playing their third game in three days, shot just 36 percent in the second half — after hitting 67 percent in the opening half — and were denied their first title game berth since 2007.
Lennard Freeman had 13 points and Anthony “Cat” Barber finished with 12 for N.C. State, which for much of the day looked capable of pulling off a second straight resume-enhancing upset after knocking off No. 11 Syracuse in the quarterfinals.
The Wolfpack might have gotten it, had it not been for Duke’s 20-7 run in the second half that was fueled by three N.C. State turnovers and a spate of missed shots.
No. 3 seeded Duke and No. 1 seed Virginia, which meet Sunday, March 16, for the ACC Tournament championship at the Greensboro Coliseum (1 p.m., WRAL/ESPN), met once this seasion, with Duke escaping with a 69-65 win. Here's a look back at that game through the eyes and words of Duke beat writer Steve Wiseman of The Herald-Sun. REPRINTED FROM JAN. 13, 2014 ...
HOOD'S FREE THROWS WITH 3.8 SECONDS LEFT, THORNTON STOP SAVE DUKE AFTER SQUANDERING 13-POINT LEAD
Rodney Hood hit two free throws with 3.8 seconds left to lift No. 7 Duke past Clemson 63-62 Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.
ACC rookie of the year Jabari Parker scored 18 points and Hood had 17 for the third-seeded Blue Devils (25-7).
They blew a 13-point lead with 12 minutes left before regrouping just in time to avoid joining No. 15 North Carolina and No. 11 Syracuse as ACC quarterfinal losers.
Duke will play seventh-seeded North Carolina State on Saturday in a semifinal.
Rod Hall scored 13 points to lead sixth-seeded Clemson (20-12), and his runner in the lane with 7.4 seconds left capped a late 15-5 run and gave the Tigers their only lead of the second half at 62-61.
After Hood's free throws, Hall made it deep into the lane before he was stripped by Tyler Thornton a moment before the buzzer sounded.
T.J. Warren scored 28 points while Ralston Turner banked in the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 left to help North Carolina State upset No. 11 Syracuse 66-63 in Friday's quarterfinals at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
WARREN, TURNER COMBINE FOR 46 POINTS AS N.C. STATE ADVANCES TO MEET SYRACUSE
T.J. Warren scored 24 points to help North Carolina State beat Miami 67-58 in Thursday night's second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Ralston Turner added 16 of his 22 points after halftime for the seventh-seeded Wolfpack (20-12), who trailed 53-51 with about 4 minutes left before going on a 12-0 run that kept Mark Gottfried's team alive in the tournament.
Turner came up big during that spurt. Warren hit a turnaround for the lead at the 2:23 mark, then Turner knocked down a tough 3-pointer over Rion Brown that gave the Wolfpack a 58-53 lead with 1:42 to go.
Des Lee's breakaway dunk ended the run and gave N.C. State a 63-53 lead with 26.3 seconds left, part of a 16-5 flurry to close the game against the 10th-seeded Hurricanes (17-16).
N.C. State advanced to Friday's quarterfinals to play No. 11 Syracuse, the tournament's third seed.
Durham native, named ACC player of the year, counted on to help N.C. State surprise in postseason
Examining how all 15 teams got here and where they might go in Greensboro and beyond
DURHAM’S WARREN TOPS DUKE’S PARKER AS ACC PLAYER OF YEAR
T.J. Warren was born six months after Hillside High School’s Rodney Rogers won the 1993 ACC player of the year award while playing at Wake Forest.
On Tuesday, Warren joined his fellow Durham native in that select group.
Warren, a former Riverside High player, became the second player from Durham to be named the ACC’s top player when he won player of the year awards in voting by the media and the league coaches.
“It’s a wonderful award,” Warren said. “It wouldn’t be possible without my teammates and coaching staff. They’ve given me a lot of confidence throughout the year.”
A 6-8 sophomore forward, Warren led the ACC in scoring (24.8 points) and field-goal percentage (53.2). He surpassed the 30-point plateau nine times this season, including last week’s games with 41 at Pittsburgh and 42 against Boston College.
Warren received 48 of the 77 votes from the media to easily outdistance Duke’s Jabari Parker, who was second with 25. North Carolina guard Marcus Paige received two votes.
Duke's Jabari Parker, N.C. State's T.J. Warren and North Carolina's Marcus Paige made the all-ACC first team.
Virginia is tournament's top seed for first time since 1981. Blue Devils, Tar Heels get seeds 3 and 4 for the 15-team field.
NCCU BASKS IN AFTERGLOW OF MEAC REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP
A whole bunch of folks saw NCCU's overtime win against Savannah State on ESPNU on Monday.
The victory allowed the Eagles to clinch their first Division I league title.
Guards Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd represent the unbeaten Fighting Irish (29-0) on the first team. Duke had center Elizabeth Williams and guard Tricia Liston. They were joined by North Carolina guard Diamond DeShields, N.C. State’s Markeisha Gatling, Wake Forest’s Dearica Hamby, Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall, Florida State’s Natasha Howard and Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas.
None of the top teams will be playing in Wednesday’s opening round which pits No. 13 seed Clemson vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech (1 p.m., Fox Sports Carolinas), No. 15 Boston College vs. No. No. 10 Virginia (3:30 p.m., FSC) and No. 14 Pittsburgh vs. No. 11 Wake Forest (6:30 p.m., FSC). UNC opens play Thursday, Duke has a double-bye and opens on Friday.
Former Riverside star lifts N.C. State over Pittsburgh
Rion Brown scored 20 points and Miami pulled away to beat N.C. State 85-70 Saturday at PNC Arena.