Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Zion, Duke beat rival North Carolina to advance to ACC Final

Zion, Duke beat rival North Carolina to advance to ACC Final

That last tip-in helped Duke survive a classic that went down to the final play.

CHARLOTTE-How do you top a Duke-North Carolina epic, a game that came down to the buzzer with wild swings of momentum and an electric crowd inside the Spectrum Center?

"They're a very athletic team, very long, and it did disrupt us a little bit", Virginia guard Kyle Guy said.

De'Andre Hunter had 13 points for Virginia (29-3), which had its nine-game winning streak snapped and suffered its first loss to a team other than Duke. "Just go back, get back to Charlottesville, get back in the gym and get ready for our next game".

Florida State broke open the game midway through the second half with a 13-1 run led by Nichols, a graduate transfer who scored on a drive, a low post move, and a turnaround jumper during the stretch.

Late in the game, Florida State twice collected offensive rebounds, taking valuable time off the clock and preventing the Cavaliers from perhaps staging a rally. The freshman wing had six points on three-of-seven shooting and missing his two 3-point attempts, along with both of his free throw attempts. However, they won the game in all the key phases.

The second half of Virginia-NC State will begin shortly on ESPN.

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Williamson appeared to tweak his back in the final minutes, which Jay Bilas joked came from carrying the team himself.

"We grow from this experience", Bennett said. They had also beaten Florida State earlier this season.

They shot better, defended better, rebounded better and shot the three-pointer better than Virginia. The Seminoles upset No. 2 Virginia in the s first semifinal.

Illustrating the Seminoles' depth: Terance Mann and Devin Vassell, who hit the essential shots in their quarterfinal victory over Virginia Tech, combined for only two points Friday. Nichols scored eight of those 13 points.

"It was obvious that our kids were really locked in for this game, and a lot of it is because we have such a tremendous amount of respect for the job that Tony does and the legacy he's built at Virginia", Seminoles Coach Leonard Hamilton said of the ACC coach of the year.

This is a great matchup between the best 2P offense and defense in the ACC. Duke has the fourth-best efficiency in the country from inside the arc, and they rank a distant first in conference play. "It was hard. We played a lot of guys".

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