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ACC men's basketball tournament: No. 9 Duke holds off Maryland 67-61, faces Florida State in final

ATLANTA — The boo birds couldn't keep the Blue Devils from reaching another ACC final.

Duke, winners of seven of the past 10 tournament championships, earned a shot at another title despite coming to Atlanta as the third seed.

Jon Scheyer scored 22 and Duke rode a 12-2 second-half run to beat Maryland 67-61 Saturday in the ACC semifinals.

Kyle Singler added 14 points for No. 9 Duke, which faces Florida State today. The fourth-seeded Seminoles beat top-ranked North Carolina 73-70.

Tar Heel fans led the boos from the Georgia Dome crowd every time coach Mike Krzyzew­ski and Duke players took the court — with many anticipating the two conference powers would meet in today's championship game. North Carolina closed the regular season with a home win over Duke.

"You have to be careful what you wish for," Scheyer said. "Obviously, we'd like another shot at Carolina. … It will be tough against Florida State."

Duke (27-6) led 44-41 before Gerald Henderson's 3-pointer with 8:53 started the 12-2 run. Scheyer and David McClure each had back-to-back baskets in the run, which ended with Duke leading 56-43 with 5:35 remaining.

Eric Hayes answered with four straight points for Maryland (20-13), but he missed a 3-pointer with two minutes left after the Terrapins made it 57-50.

"When Duke takes the lead, they're a tough team to beat," Maryland senior Dave Neal said.

Hayes led Maryland with 20 points, including 15 after Duke's 12-2 run. He scored 15 of Maryland's final 18.

Despite their long history of success in the conference tournament, the Blue Devils haven't won since 2006. Duke lost in the first round in 2007 and won only one game last season.

"We won a couple championships early in my career, but I really wasn't much of a factor," said McClure, a senior. "There would be no better way to end with these guys than to go out and get one."

No. 9 Duke 67

Maryland 61

ACC men's basketball tournament: No. 9 Duke holds off Maryland 67-61, faces Florida State in final 03/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:13pm]
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