ACC Championship Game 2011: Duke Defeats North Carolina 75-58 To Win ACC Tournament Title

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC Score: Blue Devils Defeat Tar Heels 75-58

The Duke Blue Devils have likely earned themselves a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament this afternoon, as they demolished the North Carolina Tar Heels 75-58 to win the 2011 ACC Tournament Championship game. North Carolina trailed from beginning to end, as Duke put together a fantastic full 40 minute performance. The Blue Devils faced a setback when they lost the regular season ACC title to North Carolina just a week ago, but revenge by way of an ACC tournament win over their bitter rivals will serve as a pretty good form of revenge.

Despite a 5-14 shooting performance from Kyle Singler and a 6-18 performance from Nolan Smith, Duke managed to shoot 50% from the field. Their opponents weren't anywhere near as successful, throwing up a flurry of bricks en route to a 33.9% performance from the field. John Henson turned in a great performance on the glass for the Tar Heels with 18 rebounds, but the UNC forward shot just 4-15. Harrison Barnes struggled from the field, shooting 6-15, including a big miss with five minutes remaining in the game that killed any chance North Carolina had to come back into the game.

Duke has all but locked themselves into a No. 1 seed today, but North Carolina's future seems less certain. A regular season ACC title and a run to the tournament final could be good enough to earn the Tar Heels a No. 2 seed, but based on the manner of this loss, it wouldn't be shocking to see them slide down to the No. 3 line.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, UNC Vs. Duke: Blue Devils Get A Momentum Killing Dagger

With around five minutes left in the 2011 ACC Championship, it appeared that the North Carolina Tar Heels were finally about to get back into the game. At the 5:12 mark, down by 10 points, Harrison Barnes spotted up for a wide open three. Everyone in the building could feel that the shot was about to go down. The UNC fans were about to blow the roof off of Greensboro Colosseum. Then, Barnes missed the shot and everyone's hearts sunk. On the ensuing Blue Devils possession, 30 seconds later, Ryan Kelly drained a three from the corner. It was, essentially, a six point swing. Barnes' miss and Kelly's basket sucked most of the life out of the UNC fans, and all hope seems lost at this point. It was the metaphorical dagger.

Trailing 71-56 at the under four minute media timeout, North Carolina appears to be dead in the water. With 3:32 remaining, it would take an absolute miracle for the Tar Heels to get back into the game.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC: Is The Tar Heels Run Finally On The Way?

Once in a while, North Carolina look like they're interested in making the 2011 ACC Championship game...well...interesting. They have failed in this endeavor so far, but with the lead down to 12 and Duke shooting poorly, the run could possibly be on the way. Or maybe I'm just reaching. Really, I just want a UNC run because I want a really interesting finish to this game. Duke has been in control despite playing fairly mediocre basketball throughout the second half. A couple Tar Heels jumpers in a row and we'll be in business.

Duke have a 61-49 lead at the under eight minute timeout with 7:52 left to play in the game. Their shooting has cooled off considerably, mostly due to their shot selection deteriorating. Really, despite having a lead, they're in a similar boat to North Carolina, just because they could probably turn the game considerably in their favor by hitting a couple of jumpers in a row. With a 12 point lead, the Blue Devils might be able to limp to victory, but based on the fact that they've been the superior team for 32 minutes, they should do better than that.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC: Chaotic Game Producing A Lot Of Bricks

North Carolina has succeeded in sucking Duke into a game played at a high tempo, but that hasn't produced any positive results for the Tar Heels. They haven't seen the Duke lead expand any, but their lack of shooting prowess has kept them from chipping away at that lead, despite the fact that they're dictating the tempo of the game. For every thing that UNC starts doing right, they seem to do at least one other thing wrong. They're throwing up brick after brick, and time is seriously running out for them to mount a challenge to Duke in the 2011 ACC Championship Game.

UNC are a terrible 15-48 from the floor, and that doesn't look like improving. John Henson is still putting in a stellar performance on defense and on the glass, but that's about the only major positive for the Tar Heels in this game. They've simply been out-played.

After the under 12 media timeout, Duke lead 56-41 with 11:29 to play.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC: Tar Heels Making Slight Progress

North Carolina still trails Duke by a considerable margin in the 2011 ACC Championship Game, but they've started the second half looking considerably better than they have at any other point in the game thus far. John Henson continues to be UNC's most aggressive player, and he's notched an incredible 12 rebounds already. Additionally, Harrison Barnes has scored on a nice reverse lay-up, and it was the kind of basket that could go a long way towards restoring his confidence. The front line is starting to look better, but Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland definitely need to up their game for the Tar Heels.

Despite their early foul trouble, Duke have avoided getting any of their players into serious trouble. Five players have two personal fouls, but no one player has more than two. 

UNC are starting to look better, but they still have a massive comeback to make. At the under 16 media timeout, they trail 49-34 with 15:57 remaining in the game.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC Score: Blue Devils Lead 42-28 At Halftime

It's been all Duke Blue Devils in the first half of the 2011 ACC Championship Game, as they have absolutely dominated the North Carolina Tar Heels. The 42-28 score is absolutely indicative of the way the game has went so far, with UNC struggling mightily. They have shot very poorly while getting dominated on the glass, and Harrison Barnes has been a complete non-factor. Andre Dawkins has drained three shots from behind the arc off the bench, and Nolan Smith is having a typical Nolan Smith game with 10 points, four assists, and three rebounds, and he's unsurprisingly established himself as the best player on the floor. 

Harrison Barnes has shot 1-6 from the field, while Dexter Strickland has been irrelevant thanks to foul trouble. John Henson has been effective on the boards, but the rest of the UNC front court has been outplayed by Duke in that regard, where the Blue Devils have a +3 rebounding differential.

North Carolina are shooting 30% from the floor while Duke are shooting 62.7%, which tells you almost everything you need to know about the game. Duke is executing, North Carolina isn't. Something dramatic needs to happen in the second half for UNC to get back into the game. As of this moment, it appears that the Blue Devils are marching towards a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC: Blue Devils Spread Scoring Around, Tar Heels Still Shooting Poorly

Somewhat surprisingly, the Duke Blue Devils are still in control of the 2011 ACC Championship Game. North Carolina's scoring woes have continued into the under four minute media timeout, despite their hard work, especially down low. Surprisingly, Duke's forwards have continued to match UNC and have prevented the Tar Heels front line from making a big impact. However, just before the media timeout, UNC made a big play that could potentially swing momentum. From 40 feet away from the basket, Kendall Marshall threw a spectacular alley-oop pass to John Henson. Henson went up and got the ball, then converted a spectacular lay-up as he was fouled by Kyle Singler. The Tar Heels have a long way to go to get back into the game, but it was the kind of play that could swing momentum.

Nolan Smith has unsurprisingly been Duke's leading scorer, but otherwise, they're doing a great job of spreading the scoring around. A total of seven guys have scored for the Blue Devils, and six of those seven have multiple buckets. They're shooting a stunning 62.5% from the field, and it doesn't look like a fluke.

At the under four minute media timeout, with 3:36 remaining in the first half, Duke leads 35-21.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC: Blue Devils' Defense Dominant

Duke's defense has been absolutely suffocating early in the 2011 ACC Championship game, and UNC are struggling to find quality looks. They're being forced into low percentage shots, and that 's reflected by...drumroll...North Carolina's poor shooting percentage! The Tar Heels are 5-21 so far on the afternoon, which is the main contributor to the large deficit that they face at the moment. They're holding up defensively, though not looking spectacular, and they probably have a good chance of pulling themselves back into the game if they can start shooting well.

UNC might struggle to create on the offensive end for the remainder of the half, though, as Dexter Strickland has picked up three personal fouls and will have to sit for the remainder of the period. Kendall Marshall has been poor so far and all Leslie McDonald has contributed is a three point basket. Both will have to up their games considerably with Strickland on the bench.

With 7:36 remaining in the first half, UNC trails Duke 27-13.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, UNC Vs. Duke: Kyle Singler Adjusting Game, Blue Devils In Foul Trouble

After eight minutes in the 2011 ACC Championship game, Duke are in control, but have a couple of things to worry about. First, the positive. Kyle Singler looks quite a bit better than he has in recent weeks for Duke, adjusting his game considerably. Singler has been overly reliant on his outside jumper as of late, but he's attacking the rim early on offense. Additionally, he's been great defending and attacking the glass. If Singler finally has awoken from his slumber, UNC are going to struggle to find an answer for him.

However, it's not all good news for Duke. They have a lead and Singler is playing better, but they've got a little bit of foul trouble. Both Miles Plumlee and Seth Curry have picked up two fouls apiece, and their replacements have seen mixed results. Ryan Kelly isn't looking as aggressive as he should be on the boards, while Andre Dawkins is 1-2 from long range. 

Harrison Barnes appears to be reverting to his old, unspectacular self, shooting 0-4 from the field. If UNC want to get back into this game, they'll need Barnes to knock down some shots. Currently, at the under 12 media timeout, UNC is down 17-8 to Duke with 11:49 remaining in the first half.

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ACC Championship Game 2011, Duke Vs. UNC: Kendall Marshall Struggling, Plumlees Matching Tar Heels Bigs

North Carolina has started the 2011 ACC Championship extremely slow, getting completely dominated by Duke in every single facet of the game. Kendall Marshall has committed two turnovers while getting completely dominated by Nolan Smith, while Mason and Miles Plumlee have had no problem dealing with the big forwards of UNC. Coming into the game, it was generally accepted that the Tar Heels would have an advantage down low. However, Miles Plumlee has picked up two silly ticky-tack fouls, and as a result, he has been substituted out of the game for Ryan Kelly.

Despite Duke's early dominance, UNC has started to come back into the game right before the under 16 minute break, with Leslie McDonald hitting a three point shot just before Seth Curry committed an offensive foul to trigger the media timeout. The score is 8-3 in favor of Duke with 15:58 left in the first half, and momentum appears to be swinging back towards the Tar Heels after a terrible start.

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2011 ACC Tournament Championship, Duke Vs. UNC: Everything I Needed To Know About Duke, I Learned From Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving did not play in a single ACC game this season. Weird to think about, isn't it? When Kyrie Irving's season was halted thanks to a terrible injury to his toe that included both ligament and bone damage, Duke changed significantly. It feels like the team that played with Irving in the beginning of the season is not even close to being the same team as the one who went through the ACC season and the ACC tournament so far. Sure, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, the Plumlee brothers, and everyone else is still there, but it still feels like a completely different team. That different team will have to continue to do the job for Duke on Sunday against North Carolina, but Irving's presence on the bench and impending comeback gets most college basketball fans buzzing. He participated in warm-ups again today, fueling rampant speculation about his return. Here's the proof:

Love or hate Duke (yes, I'm aware 90% of you probably hate them), it's hard not to love the way they were playing when Irving was healthy. Even though Duke are the defending NCAA champions, anyone would be hard pressed to find a non-Dukie who thinks that they were the best team last year. Even if they were, they were the best team because they were so good at hiding their weaknesses and emphasizing their strengths. Sure, Duke have had some good teams over the last decade, but they last time they had a truly dynamic team was 2001. That is, until this year.

Of course, Duke's dynamism only lasted as long as Irving was healthy. Once Irving went down, we had the same old Blue Devils once again. Sure, Nolan Smith could always be counted on for great games and the team continued to play good defense and rebound well, but they were pretty static offensively outside of Smith. Duke became overly reliant on Kyle Singler and the three-ball. Because Singler, Andre Dawkins, and Seth Curry are very good basketball players, this wasn't all bad. Still, they haven't looked like a truly elite team since Irving went down, and when Duke doesn't have two of those three players on their game, they get exposed.

With Irving, Duke was a different team. They were possibly better than the 2001 team. Really, they were that good, and Irving made that much of a difference. Irving made Duke dangerous on the break and his dribble penetration created open looks for his teammates. For the first eight games of the season, they were almost inarguably the best team in the country. They could play any style of basketball, at any pace, against any team. And the reason they could do all of that was Irving.

The way that Duke has played in Irving's absence is very telling, in both good ways and bad. On one hand, Duke are currently a one-dimensional team who plays at one pace and who is over-reliant on their three-point shooting. On the other hand, they're still a really good team. How many teams in the country are deep and talented enough that they could contend for their league's regular season title if their best player went down? And make no mistake; Irving is Duke's best player, with no disrespect intended to the fantastic Nolan Smith.

Kyrie Irving won't play against UNC on Sunday, but it seems increasingly likely that he'll make some appearances once the real March Madness hits. If he's even 75%, Duke might be propelled to ‘title favorite' status. He does that much to make Duke a better team.

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2011 ACC Tournament Championship, Duke Vs. UNC: The Evolution Of Harrison Barnes

Coming into this season, North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes was widely regarded as one of the best freshmen in the country. The Tar Heels had dealt with a mediocre season between their national title and this season, but Barnes was set to be the catalyst to their ascension back to the top of the ACC. Early, Barnes went through some serious growing pains, but those growing pains lasted longer than expected. Somehow, Barnes became the player that he was supposed to be coming out of high school, and he's led UNC to an ACC Tournament Final against Duke.

Throughout the first half of the season, Barnes was the target of some seriously heavy criticism. What is all the hype about, many of us asked? In non-conference games against Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, and Kentucky, Barnes was average at best, though poor is probably a more accurate description of his play. Barnes didn't look like a kid who had some growing pains to go through, he looked like someone who simply would never be a star at the highest level of college basketball. He didn't appear to be a young man working on his game, but instead a player who all of us - Roy Williams included - misevaluated coming out of high school.

Fast forward to March, and Barnes is arguably more important to the Tar Heels than any other player on the roster. North Carolina looked destined for an average ACC season and a middle seed in the NCAA tournament back in December, but Barnes and Co. have completely righted the ship. The Heels have an ACC regular season title under their belt, and their game against Duke for the ACC Tournament title on Sunday is likely a playoff for a No. 1 seed in the big dance.

Barnes' 14.2 points per game average doesn't look that impressive on the surface, but when you take into account how poor he was to start the year and contrast it with how good he's been lately, it becomes very apparent that the 14.2 ppg stat is very misleading. Barnes has scored double digits in 16 of his last 17 games, and over that span, he's averaging 17.9 points per game. Since the beginning of February, which makes up a big part of this chunk of 17 games, UNC only have one loss - at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

On Saturday, when his team needed him most, Barnes came up huge. Based on how he's progressed from poor player, to average player, to very good player over the course of the season, it wouldn't be shocking if his 40 point performance in an overtime victory over Clemson was the fourth step in the evolution of Harrison Barnes: The transition from being a very good player to being a star player.

Unfortunately for Barnes, if he plays poorly on Sunday, his 40 point performance will likely be forgotten. Players at North Carolina are often measured by their performances against Duke. None of Tyler Hansborough's accomplishments would have mattered that much if he got schooled by the Blue Devils for four years. Every UNC fan remembers Danny Green's dunk over Greg Paulus like it was yesterday. It's just how this rivalry works.

I used the term ‘unfortunate,' but in this case, is it really? I think I might have been reaching, though it's not like we'll ever know. I'm sure if you asked Harrison Barnes if he thought it was fair that his success as a North Carolina player will be measured by his performances against Duke, he would tell you that he wouldn't have it any other way. 

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2011 ACC Tournament Championship: Time, TV Information And More For Duke-UNC III

Selection Sunday 2011's biggest game happens at 1 p.m., when the ACC Tournament Championship Game between Duke and North Carolina tips off from Greensboro. Here's a quick overview of what you need to know about the two teams and this game's NCAA Tournament implications.

Time: 1 p.m. Eastern.
TV broadcast: ESPN and the ACC Network.
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Teams: Top-seeded North Carolina and second-seeded Duke.
Why it matters: Duke is in the hunt for a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on this Selection Sunday, while North Carolina has been soaring up the S-curve and could secure a 2 seed with a victory today.
Prediction: In a classic ACC Tournament final, Duke tops North Carolina behind Nolan Smith, who scores more than 25 points. Oh, and Kyrie Irving does not play..
Further reading: Check out Chris Dobbertean's latest bracketology to see where Duke and North Carolina will be headed in the NCAA Tournament, and the rest of this StoryStream to learn more about the 2011 ACC Tournament.

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2011 ACC Tournament Championship: Duke And UNC Vie For Conference Crown

The ACC Tournament comes down to the two usual suspects clashing for the conference crown. But there's a lot more at stake when Duke and North Carolina meet at 1 p.m. on ESPN or the ACC Network.

For Duke, this is the last chance to secure a 1 seed for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Nolan Smith's toe injury didn't appear to bother him much against Virginia Tech in Duke's semifinal victory, but there's no question that the Blue Devils would love to have a top seed and the slightly easier road to the Final Four it would entail. With a convincing win over North Carolina, that might be likely; with a loss, it's impossible.

Similarly, the Tar Heels are likely angling for a 2 seed. In Chris Dobbertean's latest NCAA Tournament bracketology, the Tar Heels are already there, but with a loss today and wins by some other teams in action on Selection Sunday — Florida, perhaps — the Heels could fall. A bad loss might even see North Carolina passed up by Big East champion Connecticut, likely the hottest team in the Selection Committee's eyes after its astounding Big East Tournament run.

Plainly, there's plenty on the line beyond bragging rights and the chance to cut down the nets as the ACC champion today.

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Nolan Smith Carries Duke Past Virginia Tech

Nolan Smith fought off a toe injury to score 27 points to lead Duke to a 77-63 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament semifinals. Smith hit 8-16 field goals to lead the way, as the Blue Devils will now face North Carolina in the ACC final on Sunday.

Smith was questionable to even play after landing on Cliff Tucker's foot in Duke's quarterfinal win over Maryland, but he came out and he dominated early. Malcolm Delaney tried to keep pace with 19 points, but it was not enough, especially because second-leading scorer Jeff Allen had a rough game. Allen shot 1-7 from the field, fouled out and had an embarrassing moment where he threw the ball off Andre Dawkins' face.

The Hokies now move to the bubble, but they should still make the NCAA Tournament on the strength of their quarterfinal win over Florida State.

For more on the game, Duke fans and Barnes fans alike should check out Duke Basketball Report, while Virginia tech fans can sweat out Selection Sunday on Gobbler Country.

Friday, March 11

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 9 Miami, 64-62

No. 4 Clemson def. No. 5  Boston College, 70-47

No. 2 Duke def. No. No. 7 Maryland, 87-71

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: Virginia Tech def Florida State, 52-51

Saturday, March 12

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 4 Clemson, 92-87

No. 2 Duke def. No. 6 Virginia Tech, 77-63

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Harrison Barnes Carries North Carolina To ACC Final

Harrison Barnes had 40 points as North Carolina rallied to beat Clemson, 92-87, in overtime to advance to the 2011 ACC Tournament final. Barnes hasn't dominated college basketball like John Wall or Kevin Durant did, but he's quietly emerged as the season has gone down the stretch. In this game, Barnes flashed all the skills that will make him a high lottery pick in the NBA Draft, scoring more points in an ACC Tournament game since 1995 in the process.

The Tar Heels trailed 38-28 at halftime, but rallied by scoring the last seven points of regulation, then the first nine points of overtime. They tied the game at 73 with 32 seconds left on a jump hook by Tyler Zeller, and Clemson couldn't score on the final play of regulation. In overtime, Barnes hit two threes, a layup and a free throw to carry North Carolina.

UNC will now play the winner of the next semifinal between Duke and Virginia Tech. Clemson falls to 21-11 and now has to sweat out Selection Sunday. Clemson was the fifth-to-last team in the NCAA Tournament field in our latest projection

 

For more on the game, UNC fans and Barnes fans alike should check out Carolina March, while Clemson fans can sweat out Selection Sunday on Shakin' the Southland.

Friday, March 11

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 9 Miami, 64-62

No. 4 Clemson def. No. 5  Boston College, 70-47

No. 2 Duke def. No. No. 7 Maryland, 87-71

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: Virginia Tech def Florida State, 52-51

Saturday, March 12

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 4 Clemson, 92-87

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Duke, UNC Play For Title Game Berth

Following a day that featured two blowouts and two nail-biters in the quarterfinals, the 2011 ACC Tournament moves into the semifinal portion of the bracket on Saturday. The early game features UNC and Clemson at 1 p.m. ET. The Tar Heels narrowly escaped Miami on Friday as they won on a last-second lay-up from Tyler Zeller after trailing the entire game. Clemson had a much easier time in its quarterfinal game, rolling over Boston College, 70-47. Both teams are looking to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding, and the Tar Heels could be in the conversation for a one-seed if they win Saturday and then Sunday in the championship game.

The second semifinal pits two-seed Duke against Virginia Tech. Much like the UNC-Clemson semifinal, this game has one team the cruised through its quarterfinal (Duke over Maryland) and another than barely advanced (Virginia Tech over Florida State). Virginia Tech appears to be on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble with its two ACC Tournament wins, but a victory over Duke would strongly secure its place in the March Madness field. Duke, like UNC, is playing for a possible one-seed.

Here is the full 2011 ACC Tournament bracket update:

Friday, March 11

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 9 Miami, 64-62

No. 4 Clemson def. No. 5  Boston College, 70-47

No. 2 Duke def. No. No. 7 Maryland, 87-71

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: Virginia Tech def Florida State, 52-51

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina vs. Clemson

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Virginia Tech Survives After Last-Second Basket Waved Off

The Florida State Seminoles came fractions of a second, and just about a fingertip, short of a win in the ACC Tournament on Friday night. The Virginia Tech Hokies took a one-point lead after Erick Green buried a shot with just over four seconds to go. But on the other end of the floor, Virginia Tech appeared to lose the game as Derwin Kitchen's shot went in at the buzzer. Upon further review, the ball was just barely on the fingertips of Kitchen as the referees ruled the bucket didn’t count, giving the Hokies a 52-51 win.

Malcolm Delaney led all scorers for Virginia Tech with 16 points. Jeff Allen added nine points and Green chipped in seven, including that crucial final bucket that proved to be the game-winner. Manny Atkins added 14 points off the bench.

Bernard James had a team-high 11 points for the Seminoles, with Ian Miller adding 10 off the bench. Kitchen had just two points, but for a moment was the hero before a look at the monitors overturned his buzzer-beater. James also had a team-high eight rebounds.

The Hokies move on to face Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday.

To connect with Virginia Tech fans, visit Gobbler Country. For more on the Seminoles, visit Tomahawk Nation.
Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

No. 7 Maryland def. No. 10 N.C. State, 75-67

No. 6 Virginia Tech def. No. 11 Georgia Tech, 59-43

Friday, March 11

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 9 Miami, 64-62

No. 4 Clemson def. No. 5 Miami, 70-47

No. 2 Duke def. No. No. 7 Maryland, 87-71

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: Virginia Tech def Florida State, 52-51

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina vs. Clemson

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Duke Pulls Away From Maryland, Advances To Semifinals

Duke survived an injury to ACC Player of the Year Nolan Smith to pull away from Maryland and win 87-71 to advance to the 2011 ACC Tournament semifinals. The Blue Devils and Terps played a tight game early, but ironically, the Blue Devils pulled away after Smith went down with a toe injury with seven minutes remaining in the second half. Duke held a five-point lead at the time, and outscored the Terps by 11 the rest of the way.

Kyle Singler stepped up for his injured teammate, dropping a cool 29 points as Maryland tried to guard him with men much shorter than him. Four other players scored in double figures as Duke overcame a horrendous performance from three-point range to get the win.

The Blue Devils will play the winner of the game between Florida State and Virginia Tech in the semifinals. Maryland falls to 19-14 and will likely head to the NIT for the fourth time in seven seasons. 

For more on this game, Duke fans should join Duke Basketball Report, while Maryland fans should head to Testudo Times. For more on the ACC Tournament, check out SB Nation D.C.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

No. 7 Maryland def. No. 10 N.C. State, 75-67

No. 6 Virginia Tech def. No. 11 Georgia Tech, 59-43

Friday, March 11

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 9 Miami, 64-62

No. 4 Clemson def. No. 5 Miami, 70-47

No. 2 Duke def. No. No. 7 Maryland, 87-71

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

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ACC Tournament: Kyrie Irving In Uniform Prior To Duke-Maryland Quarterfinal

Might there be a surprise newcomer arriving to the 2011 ACC Tournament party? Maybe not, but there is still a lot of buzz that Kyrie Irving, Duke's injured freshman phenom, is in uniform and going through warmups prior to the Blue Devils' ACC quarterfinal game against Maryland. 

It doesn't look like Irving is actually going to play, but the sight of him practicing inevitably leads to speculation about whether he will return at some point this season. Irving has missed the last 23 games after suffering a right toe injury, and previously, it didn't look like he would return this season. But why else would one work out before a game?

Via Dan Wiederer of the Fayetteville Observer:

Duke sports information director Matt Plizga reports that Irving will not be in uniform for tonight's game. But just the sight of the talented freshman point guard in uniform has sent quite a buzz through the Greensboro Coliseum. At several points in the last few minutes, Maryland forward Jordan Williams glanced over with wide eyes and a look of curiosity as he watched Irving work out.    

Duke was the clear No. 1 team in the nation before Irving went down in December, so they become even more dangerous if he is able to return. 

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Clemson Rolls Over Boston College, Advances To Semis

Clemson routed Boston College, 70-47, in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC Tournament. The game was a matchup between two NCAA Tournament bubble teams, so it's a big win for Clemson and a particularly damaging loss for Boston College. 

The game was never all that close. Clemson jumped ahead 11-0, and while the Eagles rallied to cut the lead to eight points at halftime, the Tigers quickly took a double-digit lead again and led by as many as 23 points in the second half. Demontez Stitt led Clemson with 20 points, and the Tigers held all-ACC first-team performer Reggie Jackson to 11points in the game.

Clemson now moves to 21-10 and will face No. 1 seed North Carolina in the semifinals. Boston College falls to 20-12 and will have one good sweat come Selection Sunday.

For more on this game, Clemson fans should join Shakin The Southland, while Boston College fans should head to BC Interruption. For more on the ACC Tournament, check out SB Nation D.C.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

No. 7 Maryland def. No. 10 N.C. State, 75-67

No. 6 Virginia Tech def. No. 11 Georgia Tech, 59-43

Friday, March 11

No. 1 North Carolina def. No. 9 Miami, 64-62

No. 4 Clemson def. No. 5 Miami, SCORE

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland/North Carolina State winner

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

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ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: UNC Narrowly Avoids Miami Upset, Heads To Semis

UNC trailed Miami for 39 minutes and 59.9 seconds in its 2011 ACC Tournament quarterfinal game on Friday, but the Tar Heels led when it mattered: at the final horn.

After being down 14 points in the second half, UNC rallied to tie the game in the final minute. Following a Miami turnover, Carolina had a final possession, during which they found Tyler Zeller wide open under the basket for a layup that rolled through the hoop as time expired. The final score: UNC 61, Miami 59.

North Carolina moves on to play the winner of Boston College vs. Clemson in Saturday's semifinal game at 1 p.m. ET.

Here is the full 2011 ACC Tournament bracket update:

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina defeats Miami.

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina vs. Clemson/Boston College winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue

ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: UNC, Duke In Action On Friday

The first day of the 2011 ACC Tournament came to a close on Thursday night as Virginia Tech sent Georgia Tech packing with a 59-43 win in the first round portion of the bracket. The day got off to a wild start as the Virginia Cavaliers collapsed in regulation, blowing a 10-point lead before falling in overtime to Miami.

Boston College sent Wake Forest home in the second game of the day, breezing to a 14-point win. Maryland followed that up by holding serve in an eight-point win over North Carolina State. All four teams move on to the quarterfinals on Friday, facing teams with fresh legs coming off byes.

The top seeds enter the tournament on Friday, headlined by North Carolina, who will face Miami in the first of four games. Clemson, Duke and Florida State will also play their first games of the tournament, as well.

Here's the full schedule and bracket for the ACC Tournament.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

No. 7 Maryland def. No. 10 N.C. State, 75-67

No. 6 Virginia Tech def. No. 11 Georgia Tech, 59-43

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) vs. Miami

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue

ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Virginia Tech Routs Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech blew out Georgia Tech, 59-43, in the 2011 ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The game was pretty much as ugly as the score indicated, with the Hokies jumping ahead 15-2 right off the bat. The Hokies took a double-digit lead less than six minutes into the game, and Georgia Tech never cut it down to single digits.

If this was the end of the Paul Hewitt era in Georgia Tech, it was a particularly awful ending. The Yellow Jackets' coach has been on the hot seat recently, and a blowout loss in front of very few fans in the opening round of the ACC Tournament won't help his cause. The Yellow Jackets shot 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from three-point range. 

Malcolm Delaney scored 15 points to lead the Hokies, who advanced essentially because they weren't as horrible as the Yellow Jackets. The Hokies move to 20-10 on the year and strengthen their bubble position for the NCAA Tournament. The Yellow Jackets fall to 13-18 and likely ended Hewitt's career with the school.

For more on this game, Virginia Tech fans should join Gobbler Country, while Georgia Tech fans should head to From the Rumble Seat.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

No. 7 Maryland def. No. 10 N.C. State, 75-67

No. 6 Virginia Tech def. No. 11 Georgia Tech, 59-43

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) vs. Miami

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland/North Carolina State winner

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue

ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Maryland Tops N.C. State, Plays Duke Next

Maryland defeated North Carolina State 75-67 in the first round of the 2011 ACC Tournament. The Terps keep their slim hopes of making the NCAA Tournament alive, and I do mean "slim." So slim, in fact, that they probably have to win the ACC Tournament to get into the Big Dance, thereby defeating the whole purpose of an at-large bid. Nevertheless, the dream is still alive.

First-team all-ACC performer Jordan Williams led the Terps in their win over N.C. State, dominating the inside with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Dino Gregory added 11 points, while Cliff Tucker, mired in a horrendous slump, added nine off the bench. Tracy Smith scored 14 off the bench to lead N.C. State, who made a late rally to make the game close, but fell short. 

The Terps are now 19-13, and the next step on their journey will be against No. 2 seed Duke in the quarterfinals Friday at 7 p.m. Maryland came close to defeating the Blue Devils in Durham, falling 71-64 on January 9, but the Blue Devils smashed them in College Park, 80-62, on February 2. N.C. State falls to 15-16 and now must hope for a CBI bid. 

For more on this game, Maryland fans should join Testudo Times and SB Nation D.C., while N.C. State fans should head to Backing the Pack.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

No. 7 Maryland def. No. 10 N.C. State, 75-67

9:30 p.m., ACC Network: No. 6 Virginia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech (13-17, 5-11 ACC)

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) vs. Miami

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland/North Carolina State winner

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue

ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Boston College Coasts Over Wake Forest

Boston College topped Wake Forest 81-67 in the first round of the 2011 ACC Tournament. The final score probably obscures just how non-competitive this game actually was. Wake Forest was one of the worst ACC teams in recent memory, so it's not surprising that Boston College jumped way ahead early and was never seriously challenged in the second half. If anything, it's impressive the Demon Deacons kept it this close.

The Eagles used a 20-4 first-half run to open up a 15-point lead, and never trailed by fewer than 12 points the rest of the way. Reggie Jackson showed he belonged on the all-ACC first team, dropping 27 points, including one thunderous dunk late in the second half when the Demon Deacons decided not to guard the lane. Joe Trepani and Biko Harris added 22 and 21 apiece for the Eagles. Four players scored in double figures for Wake Forest, but alas, it was far too little to pull off the win.

Boston College moves on to face No. 4 seed Clemson in a battle of bubble teams. Clemson won the only game between the two teams in the regular season, defeating Boston College 77-69 on February 8. Wake Forest ends it's woeful season at 8-24 and just 1-16 in the ACC. 

For more on this game, Boston College fans should join BC Interruption, and Wake Forest fans should head to Blogger So Dear.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

No. 5 Boston College def. No. 12 Wake Forest, 81-67

7:00 p.m., ESPN: No. 7 Maryland (18-13, 7-9 ACC) vs. No. 10 North Carolina State (15-15, 5-11 ACC)

9:30 p.m., ACC Network: No. 6 Virginia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech (13-17, 5-11 ACC)

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) vs. Miami

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland/North Carolina State winner

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue

ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Miami Surges, Virginia Collapses In Final Minutes

Miami beat Virginia 69-62 in the 2011 ACC Tournament opener. Would you believe this game went to overtime? Sure, that's not that hard to wrap your mind around. Now would you also accept the fact that Virginia had this game completely in hand with moments to go?

The Cavs led by as many as 50-39 in the closing minutes, but the Canes suddenly started hitting clutch threes as the Cavs kept coughing up the ball, doinking free throws, and committing inopportune fouls. I'd love to list each comical mistake made by UVA down the stretch, but THERE'S NO TIME. Virginia had a chance to win with a second left, but the intercepted inbound pass surprised nobody.

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I didn't stop laughing at this game from the one-minute mark of the second half onward.

Miami will get the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels Friday at noon. They nearly pulled off a home upset in their only meeting this year, falling 74-71.

For more on this game, Miami fans should join The 7th Floor, and Virginia fans should head to Streaking The Lawn.

Thursday, March 10

No. 9 Miami def. No. 8 Virginia, 69-62

2:30 p.m., ACC Network: No. 5 Boston College (19-11, 9-7 ACC) vs. No. 12 Wake Forest (8-23, 1-15 ACC)

7:00 p.m., ESPN: No. 7 Maryland (18-13, 7-9 ACC) vs. No. 10 North Carolina State (15-15, 5-11 ACC)

9:30 p.m., ACC Network: No. 6 Virginia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech (13-17, 5-11 ACC)

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) vs. Miami

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College/Wake Forest winner

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland/North Carolina State winner

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue

ACC Tournament 2011 Bracket, Schedule: UVA, Miami Start Play At Noon Thursday

The 2011 ACC Tournament officially gets underway at Noon ET on Thursday with the first game of the bracket between UVA and Miami for the right to play No. 1 UNC on Friday. The three other games in the first round of the ACC Tournament are Boston College vs. Wake Forest at 2 p.m. ET, Maryland vs. N.C. State at 7 p.m. ET and Virgina Tech vs. Georgia Tech at 9 p.m. ET.

The first three contests are of little NCAA Tournament consequence as all six teams are out of the March Madness field (unless they win the ACC Tournament, of course). But the nightcap is a critical game for Virginia Tech as the Hokies look to get the right side of the bubble heading into Selection Sunday.

Via SB Nation D.C. -- which will have full coverage of the ACC Tournament -- he is the complete ACC Tournament 2011 bracket, schedule and TV information:

Thursday, March 10

Noon, ACC Network: No. 8 Virginia (16-14, 7-9 ACC) vs. No. 9 Miami (18-13, 6-10 ACC)

2:30 p.m., ACC Network: No. 5 Boston College (19-11, 9-7 ACC) vs. No. 12 Wake Forest (8-23, 1-15 ACC)

7:00 p.m., ESPN: No. 7 Maryland (18-13, 7-9 ACC) vs. No. 10 North Carolina State (15-15, 5-11 ACC)

9:30 p.m., ACC Network: No. 6 Virginia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech (13-17, 5-11 ACC)

Friday, March 11

Noon, ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 1 North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) vs. Virginia/Miami winner

2:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 4 Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC) vs. Boston College/Wake Forest winner

7:00 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 2 Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) vs. Maryland/North Carolina State winner

9:30 p.m., ESPN2/ACC Network: No. 3 Florida State (21-9, 11-5 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech winner

Saturday, March 12

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: North Carolina/Virginia/Miami winner vs. Clemson/Boston College/Wake Forest winner

3:30 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: Duke/Maryland/NC State winner vs. Florida State/Virginia Tech/Boston College winner

Sunday, March 13

1:00 p.m., ESPN/ACC Network: ACC Championship Game

Continue
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