The Duke Blue Devils held on to win an ugly game over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament Friday night, 60-56. Despite poor shooting and sloppy play, the Blue Devils advanced to take on the winner of Florida State-Miami in the semifinals Saturday. You can check out the full ACC Tournament bracket here.
Duke, which was last in the ACC in opponent field goal percentage during the regular season, held the Hokies to 28.1 percent shooting in the first half. Va. Tech's two stars, Erick Green and Dorenzo Hudson, combined to shoot just 3-14 in the first half, yet the Hokies trailed by just five points at the break.
The second half was very much the same story. Despite poor shooting from everyone on the floor, the Hokies kept it tight throughout the second half. They were helped by uncharacteristically terrible three-point shooting from the Blue Devils (5-26 in the game, including 3-13 from Tyler Thornton alone), but they couldn't quite break through.
The Hokies finished the game shooting an abysmal 30.2 percent from the floor. Green shot 3-16 for the game but led the team with 16 points, tied with bench player Robert Brown, who scored his 16 on 6-9 shooting. The Hokies only turned the ball over 10 times, but they just couldn't get shots to fall, which has to happen to pull off a big upset.
Mason Plumlee was the best Blue Devil on the floor in this one, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, even shooting 4-5 from the free throw line. Austin Rivers led the team in scoring with 17, but he was part of the deep-shooting problem, making just one of his six attempts from distance. They'll need to get much more efficient to win in the semifinals and lock up an NCAA tournament No. 2 seed.