C.J. Leslie had 19 points and 14 rebounds and N.C. State, attempting to remove all doubt about its NCAA tournament status, beat Virginia 67-64 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
Updated 8:12 p.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — North Carolina improvised throughout its 54-51 victory against Virginia on Saturday, and at no time did the Tar Heels improvise more than on what turned out to be their most important offensive play of the game.
Leading by one with less than a minute to play, and with the crowd at the John Paul Jones Arena at its loudest, UNC coach Roy Williams called a play in which senior forward Tyler Zeller was supposed to act as a screener. Instead, Zeller caught a pass from Kendall Marshall, faked a shot and drove the lane for a decisive one-handed dunk.
DURHAM – Virginia had two chances to send Thursday’s game against Duke to overtime, missing two open 3-pointers in the final seconds to allow the Blue Devils to hold on for a 61-58 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
With the way the Blue Devils clamped down on the Cavaliers over the previous 19:50 of the second half and asserted itself on the defensive end, maybe it was fate’s way of winking at the oft-maligned Duke defense for a job well done.
The Blue Devils may not have challenged Virginia’s final two opportunities the way they wanted, but they did hold the Cavaliers to 29.4 percent shooting after halftime while forcing Virginia to miss all 11 of its 3-point attempts.
GREENSBORO — When Miami was in the midst of losing four straight games, by a combined 11 points, in January, guard Garrius Adams never imagined that stretch would ultimately help his team.
But Thursday, in the opening round of the ACC tournament, it did.
Using the never-give-up attitude it learned during that frustrating stretch (which eventually extended to eight straight games decided by four or fewer points), 9th-seeded Miami overcame a 10-point deficit – in the final 42 seconds of regulation – to force overtime and beat No. 8 seed Virginia 69-62 at Greensboro Coliseum.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - For the second time in four nights, one of Duke’s big senior scorers had difficulties in a road game.
Once again, though, the No. 5-ranked Blue Devils had little trouble dismissing an overmatched ACC opponent as they won 56-41 at Virginia on Wednesday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
Four nights earlier, Duke defeated Miami 81-71 even though an eye injury and foul trouble held guard Nolan Smith to two first-half points.
On Wednesday, forward Kyle Singler had the frustrating start. He was limited to 23 minutes because of foul trouble and scored two points, 15 below his average.
DURHAM -- After a huge crisis of confidence, Duke bounced back in the second half behind guards Nolan Smith and Andre Dawkins on Saturday afternoon to defeat Virginia 76-60 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils trailed by 10 points in the first half and by nine with 16 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the game before Smith and Dawkins got hot. Dawkins scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including a driving three-point play with 12:15 remaining that put Duke ahead for good at 45-44.
After Dawkins added three 3-pointers in less than three minutes, the Blue Devils led 62-52 with 6:55 remaining and were well on their way to bouncing back from a 66-61 loss Wednesday at Florida State.
updated: 4:06 p.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A couple years back, North Carolina’s Final Four teams used to like to “take people’s brownies” on the road.
These days, it looks like these Tar Heels will settle for “stealing cookies.”
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half – after going roughly nine minutes without a field goal -- UNC nonetheless topped Virginia 62-56 in an ugly ACC opener at John Paul Jones Arena.
Both teams shot worse than 27 percent in the second half, but the Tar Heels (11-4, 1-0 ACC) made 14 of their last 16 free throws to survive.
“I’m sitting here right now, and I feel like I’ve been inside the cookie jar in the cookie store and stole every cookie out of the jar and every cookie out of the store,’’ said Roy Williams, whose team put up the second-lowest amount of points in a win since he returned to Chapel Hill. “And I want to get out of town as fast as I can. It was one of the ugliest W’s I’ve ever been involved with.”