Duke to Face Virginia Tech in ACC Semifinals

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The No. 2 seed Blue Devils will face No. 6 Virginia Tech in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament today at 3:30 p.m. Duke has now reached the semifinals in four consecutive seasons, losing to Clemson in 2008 before winning the Tournament crown the past two years.

The Hokies reached the semis in dramatic fashion. They trailed for nearly their entire quarterfinal contest against No. 3 Florida State after falling behind 5-4, but took a 52-51 lead with 4.7 seconds left on a long 2-point jumper by Erick Green. Seminole guard Derwin Kitchen appeared to have given Florida State the victory after hitting a baseline jumper as time expired, but replays showed that the ball didn't quite leave Kitchen's hand in time.

The Blue Devils lost to both the Seminoles and the Hokies in the teams' lone meetings this season, but Florida State is currently without junior forward Chris Singleton--a key factor in the team's Jan. 12 win over Duke—while Virginia Tech is at full strength.

On the other side of the bracket, top-seed North Carolina survived a scare from No. 8 Miami to keep a potential Duke-UNC final possible. The Hurricanes, who scored 10 points in 40 seconds to come back to beat Virginia in the opening round, led for the entire game—by as much as 19 in the second half—before the Tar Heels mounted a furious rally capped by junior Tyler Zeller's layup at the buzzer.

North Carolina will play Clemson, who beat Boston College Friday, in the first semifinal today at 1 p.m. While the Tigers would potentially present an easier matchup for the Blue Devils if they advance to Sunday, a victory over the Tar Heels would matter more to the NCAA selection committee when determining the No. 1 seeds, as columnist Scott Rich noted.

Getting to the final will be no small feat, especially with Duke's current injury worries. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after yesterday's game that freshman Kyrie Irving will not play today despite practicing in public yesterday. Senior Nolan Smith's status was unknown as of last night.


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