ACC Live Blog: Semifinals

by Quinn Peterson

Greensboro calls itself Tourney Town. After the first two days of the ACC tournament, it should start calling itself Upset City. After three of the four higher seeds went down on Day One, Day Two was exactly same. Twelfth-seeded Miami, seventh-seeded Georgia Tech, and eleventh-seeded NC State all took down their respective higher seeded opponents. One-seeded Duke was the only team to survive a potential upset, and even they struggled, using a late push to hold off Virginia.

The “stars” were also absent on Day Two, as Jon Scheyer, Malcolm Delaney and Grevis Vasquez all played poorly. Kyle Singler struggled as well, but was able to get things going in the second half. Who stepped up were Miami’s Durand Scott, who had 17 in the Hurricans win over Virginia Tech, NC State’s Scott Wood, who had 18 against Florida St., and Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert, who finished with 14 against Maryland, including a game-winning steal.

Will Day Three feature the same them of upsets, or will higher seeds finally hold serve? Let’s find out:

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 12 Miami

— And we’re off. Miami wins the tip.

— Kyle Singler gets things going right away, draining a wide open three.

— Brian Zoubek off to a rough start. He’s been open twice now, but hasn’t looked to shoot, and turned it over once. Miami’s sitting leaving him open in their 2-3 zone.

— Miami has done a good job of attacking the basket. They’ve gotten all the way to the rack on every possession so far.

— Singler with great pentration, tosses it up to mason Plumlee, who finishes with a two-hand slam. Both Plumlee twins have checked in and given the Blue Devils good minutes off the bench.

— Duke with a great defensive stand, leading to an all-Plumlee fast break. Mason to Miles on the alley-oop. Blue Devils have really picked up the intensity on D.

— 12-9, Duke leads it. 13:19 to go in the first half.

— Every time Zoubek catches it around the free throw line he’s WIDE open and Duke fans are yelling at him to shoot the ball. Clearly he knows better and has been advised otherwise by the coaching staff.

— Miami continuing to get into the lane every time down the floor, but they haven’t been able to finish consistently. Duke has to get their penetration under control. 19-12, Duke. 9:06 to play.

— Plumlee’s have been huge. Duke not being able to stop dribble penetration has them sitting with seven team fouls already, with eight minutes left in the half. Durand Scott has been so effective getting to the basket, Duke just ran two guys at him to get the ball out of his hands. 21-16, Blue Devils up.

— Wow. Duke goes to a zone.

— Again, these Plumlees have been major so far. Each has four points and have brought even more energy. Duke winning the battle on the glass, 12-7. Blue Devils lead it, 25-18.

— Duke putting together a nice run here. Everybody in on the action for them. Singler, Scheyer, Lane Thomas, Zoubek, Plumlee, etc. 30-20, Duke up.

–Adrian Thomas knocks one down from deep for the Hurricanes. First time that’s happened in a while. 30-23 Blue Devils. 3:34 to go in the first half.

— Miami hanging in there. They continue to get all the way to the basket. It’s Malcolm Grant this time. He gets fouled and knocks down both free throws.

— Coach K just got T’d up. This has been a long time coming. He’s ben riding this referee crew since yesterday.

— Miami splits the two free throws, then Scott gets in the lane and finishes with a floater.

— Refs call Duke for a carry and continue to get them with fouls. Coach K takes off the jacket, and the crowd goes wild. Hostility in Greensboro. Game tied at 32.

— The first Miami foul in minutes gets a sarcastic applause from the Duke crowd.

— A Grant three with time running out send the Hurricanes into the half with a 35-32 lead. They closed the half 15-2 run and enter the half with full momentum. At the same time, we’re in North Carolina, so Duke still has the home court advantage. They’ve yet to find an cure for Miami’s penetration. Singler leads Duke with 10, and Reggie Johnson has 10 for Miami – eight from the free throw line. Let’s see if the foul situation changes in the second half. Back in 15 minutes, stay tuned.

— Duke opens up with a defensive stop, which leads to a Singler three. Next possession, he comes down and drains another. Miami Head Coach Frank Haith calls timeout. Great way for Duke to start the half. Duke leads 38-35.

— Just when it looks like Duke might pull away, Miami finds a way to answer. 43-42, Duke. 15:14 left to play.

— Jon Scheyer smacks a three from the corner. Both Reggie Johnson and DeQuan Jones go to contest, and end up fly into each other.

— Singler putting on a clinic. Outside, mid-range, at the basket. He’s got 10 this half already. He gets quick steal and outlets to Scheyer  for an easy two. Next possession, Scheyer pulls up for three. Duke on a 10-0 run, forces Miami to call timeout. Duke up, 53-42, 13 minutes to play.

— Hurricanes lose track of Singler, who makes them pay by burying another deep one. Duke starting to pull away, and Miami falling apart. Blue Devils lead it, 56-42, with 11:52 to play.

— Lane Thomas just picked up three fouls in less than 30 seconds. Great hustle, though.

–Miami just can’t buy a basket. They shot 11-22 in the first half, but have opened up the second half 3-15. 58-46, Blue Devils lead. 10:29 to play.

— Mason Plumee just stuffed DeQuan Jones. Jones has boings, but Plumlee made a great play.

— Miami looked like they had something going but two bad decisions with the ball have led to four easy points for Duke.

— Durand Scott just does not stop. He gets to the cup every single time. And he’s been finishing.

— These Plumlee boys are alright.

— Miami refuses to go away. Two threes bring them within eight, but Nolan Smith answers calmly with a jumper of his own. A Reggie Johnson dunk cuts it back to eight. 66-58, Duke leads.

— Poor clock management has led to two Duke shot clock violations. And Durand Scott keeps coming, this time with a trey piece. 68-61, Duke up. 4:00 minutes to play.

— Maybe Coach K’s first half complaining is paying off. This half, the foul count is Duke 5, Miami 9. But Miami keeps fighting. Duke leading 68-61 with 3:04 left to go.

— Duke with a huge defensive stop out of the media timeout.

— Miami responds with stellar defense of their own, forcing another Duke shot clock violation.

— Malcolm Grant at the line for two. Makes both. 68-63, Duke up. 1:24 to play.

— After some shakey ballhandling, Nolan Smith buries a clutch jumper from the top of the key.

— Blue Devils foul Grant, who makes both. 70-65, Duke. 50 seconds left.

— The Hurricanes foul Singler, who makes both. Duke calls timeout. 72-65, Duke leads it. 41 seconds left to play.

— More pentration from Scott sets up a Julian Gamble dunk for the Hurricanes. 72-67, Duke. 32 seconds remaining.

— Hurricanes foul Scheyer, who makes both.

— And Scott is continuing to get to the cup. And-1, but he misses the free throw. 74-69, Duke. 18 seconds to go. He then fouls Singler to stop the clock, which is his fifth foul. He leaves to a nice applause from the Hurricane crowd.

— Singler steps to the line and makes both. 76-69, Duke.

— After trailing at the end of the first half, Duke used a couple nice second half runs to put themselves in the driver’s seat and advance to the championship, beating Miami, 77-74. Althoug they were never able to stop the Hurricanes’ penetration, they managed to pull out the W. Singler was the man for the Blue Devils, finishing with 27 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Jon Scheyer chipped in 16 and Nolan Smith had 12. Durand Scott was outstanding for the Hurricanes and finished with 23 points on 10-15 shooting. No upsets here. Up next, Georgia Tech vs. NC State. Coming in less than 15 minutes. Stay tuned.

No. 11 NC State vs. No. 7 Georgia Tech

G-Tech wins the tip. Sorry about the delay. Lawal splits from the line to put the Yellow Jackets on the boards first.

— So far Lawal has touched the ball every rep. The boy is an absolute horse.

— A Tracy Smith dunk gives the Wolfpack their points of the game.

— NC State is getting killed on the boards so far.

— Scott Wood nails his first jumper. He was on fire yesterday, let’s see how he is today.

— Yellow Jackets are pounding the ball inside. Lawal, Derrick Favors, or Zach Peacock have touched it on the block every time down the floor. They’re really trying to exploit their size advantage. Jackets up 9-4, with 14:30 to play in the first half.

— A Scott Wood three knots things at nine, but the Yellow Jackets respond by  dumping it into Lawal for two.

— 13-9, Georgia Tech leading. 10:30 to play.

— Neither team is in a good rhythm offensively. NC State shooting just 26 percent, and getting out-rebounded 15-5. Jackets leading 18-11, 7:43 to play in the first half.

— A lot of empty possessions. Finally G-Tech finds Favors for a wide-open dunk, and Farnold Degand scores and gets fouled but misses the free throw.

— Gani Lawal, And-1! Jackets up, 22-15, with 3:40 left to go in the first half.

— Degand has ignited this Wolfpack team and brought their fans to life with two quick fast-break layups. 24-19 GT, with 1:18 to play.

— Moe Miller with a big three to end the Wolfpack run.

— Neither team played well, but the Georgia Tech’s big men dominated and have the Yellow Jackets leading 29-19 at the half. Favors leads the way with 10 points and seven boards, and Lawal had seven and seven.  The Yellow Jackets out-rebounded the Wolfpack 25-11, and held them to 30 percent shooting. Degand and Smith led the Wolfpack with six apiece. Back to the action in a few. Stay tuned.

— NC State opens up and gets the ball right to Scott Wood who knocks down a three. Shumpert answers with a jumper of his own. NC State applying full-court press now – which the Yellow Jackets have struggled with –  looking to force some turnovers.

— 33-26, Yellow Jackets lead.

— Dennis Horner gets the crowd going with a three in the corner to bring the Wolfpack to within four. 33-29, GT leads it. 15:55 on the clock.

— Brian Oliver fouls Wood on a three. He misses two of three.

— G-Tech still struggling with the full-court pressure, not doing job taking care of the ball. 14 turnovers thus far.

— Javier Gonzalez knocks down a three, tying things up at 33. 14:31 left to play.

— Gonzalez pulls up and drains another, giving the Wolfpack their first lead since early in the first half. Georgia Tech Head Coach calls timeout. 36-33, NC State.

— Like yesterday, this is virtually a home game for NC State. 90 percent of these fans are cheering for the Wolfpack.

— Julius Hodge in the building.

— Yellow Jackets struggling to score the ball right now.

— G-Tech trying to get back to what got them out to an early lead: getting the ball inside. The full-court pressure has really bothered them, and NC State’s taken all the momentum. Wolfpack up three, 35-33, 11:56 left.

— Iman Shumpert knocks down pull-up jumper, giving him his field goal of the game, and bringing the Yellow Jackets within two. 40-38, NC State leads. 9:46 to play.

— Favors steals an inbounds pass and gets it to Shumpert for a layup, tying things up at 40, but Horner comes in for a tip-dunk on the Wolfpack’s ensuing possession.

— NC State leads, 42-40, with 6:23 left to play.

— Gani Lawal should touch the ball every possession for the rest of the game. I’m just sayin…

— GLen Rice, Jr. steps to the line, knocks down both, and ties things at 44. Yellow Jacket nation coming to life.

— Tracy Smith has been huge for the Wolfpack this half. His layup puts NC State back in front, 46-44, 3:27 left to play.

— After a near, G-Tech turnover, Shumpert gets fouled, and goes to the line for a one-and-one. Knocks down the first, misses the second, but G-Tech gets the rebound. Favors knocks down a jumper, putting the Yellow Jackets back in the lead for the first time in over 10 minutes. 47-46, Tech leads.

— DeAndre Bell at the line for two. Sinks both, giving the Jackets a 49-46 lead with 1:35 left to play.

— Shumpert comes up with another big steal (like yesterday), and passes it ahead to Favors. Gonzalez grabs his jersey and is called for an intentional foul. Teams get hostile, and have to be separated by the refs. Timeout on the floor, Jackets still in the lead.

— Favors knocks down the first of his two free throws.

— G-Tech finds Favors inside, who finishes inside plus the foul. Misses the free throw.

— Degand gets fouled and misses both free throws, but NC State gets a tip-in. 52-48, GT up. 1:03 to play.

— Glen Rice, Jr. splits from the free throw line.

— NC State killing themselves with missed free throws down the stretch.

— Georia Tech isn’t helping themselves either, fouling NC State, stopping the clock.

–Degand knocks down two free throws.

— Shumpert misses two for the Yellow Jackets. GT still up, though, 55-51. NC State calls timeout. 19.6 seconds left on the clock.

— Dennis Horner airballs a three, but NC State gets the rebound, and Gonzalez knocks one down, and NC State calls timeout. 55-54, GT ball. 12.4 seconds to play.

— GT gets it into DeAndre Bell, and NC State fouls immediately.

— Knocks down the first. Knocks down the second. 11.4 to play.

— Gonzalez misses his three-point attempt, and the Wolfpack is unable to get another clean look. Yellow Jackets win, 57-54.

— After falling behind in the second half, Georgia Tech survives, and advances to the championship. They had 17 turnovers, but rebounded well and held the Wolfpack to 31 percent from the field.  Both teams shot temselves in the foot with poor free shooting (GT was 19-32, while NC State was 10-19). Favors led the Yellow Jackets with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Gani Lawal had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Tracy Smith was the lone NC State player in double figures, finishing with 15 points.

The Yellow Jackets will face Duke tomorrow at 1 PM ET, whom they split with during the regular season, winning at home 61-57, but losing at Cameroon Indoor, 86-67. Duke will be playing to further solidify their probable No. 1 seeding in the NCAA Tournament, while the Yellow Jackets will be playing looking to better their Big Dance seed. See you tomorrow.