GREENSBORO — N.C. State shut down Erick Green and Joe Harris to get to the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
Miami's Durand Scott proved more difficult to defend. Scott's career-best 32 points carried the top-seeded Hurricanes to a 81-71 win over N.C. State and into their first ACC championship game.
N.C. State, playing for the third time in as many days, started sluggish and fell behind by double-digits midway through the first half and stayed in a hole.
A brief rally in the second half, spurred by four straight points from freshman guard Rodney Purvis, opened the door but Scott slammed it shut.
N.C. State had cut what was a 19-point Miami lead down to 50-44 at the 12:03 mark on a 3-pointer from Scott Wood (21 points).
Scott answered with a 3 of his own and Shane Larkin (23 points) followed with a running bank shot and Miami's lead was back to 55-44.
A three-point play by T.J. Warren at 8:12 made it 58-48 but again Scott came back with another 3-pointer.
The Hurricanes (26-6) will face the winner of UNC and Maryland in the title game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
N.C. State held Virginia Tech's Green, the nation's leading scorer, to 15 points on Thursday and Virginia's Harris to 13 in Friday's win. Scott made 12 of his 18 field goals and was 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Miami got up by as many as 19 points in the first half. Scott's free throws with 1:18 left in the half made it 39-20.
The Wolfpack (24-10) had five missed shots and two turnovers on its first seven possessions of the game. With forward C.J. Leslie in early foul trouble and Wood struggling to find his shot, the Wolfpack looked lost. Then Wood made his first 3 of the game, and was fouled, for a four-point play at 1:02, to cut Miami's lead to 39-24.
Wood drained his second 3 with 45.5 seconds left and Lorenzo Brown made a pair of free throws on the Pack's next trip and Miami's lead was down to 41-29.
State missed three free throws in the final 20 seconds with a chance whittle Miami's lead even more.
Scott scored Miami's first five points of the half before the Wolfpack started its charge by finally getting its transition game going. Six straight points from Warren and then the two driving baskets from Purvis gave the Wolfpack hope, and breathed life into the Greensboro Coliseum, but the Wolfpack couldn't get closer than six points.