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Miami routs Wake Forest in ACC tournament opener

Julian Gamble’s dunk helps Miami shoot nearly 52 percent in becoming the latest ACC No. 12 seed to defeat a No. 5 seed.

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Julian Gamble’s dunk helps Miami shoot nearly 52 percent in becoming the latest ACC No. 12 seed to defeat a No. 5 seed.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Redshirt freshman Reggie Johnson scored a season-high 22 against his hometown school and 12th-seeded Miami routed fifth-seeded Wake Forest 83-62 on Thursday in the first round.

Johnson was 8-for-8 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line. James Dews added 15 points for the Hurricanes (19-12).

Miami led by 25, shot nearly 52 percent against one of the league's toughest defenses and made a huge early run stand in advancing to today's quarterfinal matchup against fourth-seeded Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech and Miami split their season meetings, with each winning at home.

Ishmael Smith had 14 points to lead the Demon Deacons (19-10). They didn't get closer than 16 in the second half in falling to 0-3 in ACC tournament games under coach Dino Gaudio.

For the Hurricanes, who finished alone at the bottom of the ACC with a 4-12 league record and came to Greensboro on a three-game losing streak, the big story was Johnson.

The 6-foot-10, 295-pound rookie from nearby Winston-Salem sat out last season while dropping 40 pounds.

He easily surpassed his previous high of 13 points in Miami's first ACC tournament win since 2008.

"We're not going to throw in the towel because of some tough losses," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "I got to give these guys credit in terms of their focus and coming to practice and getting after it, which gives us a chance."

The Hurricanes had the latest upset in the ACC's 5-12 game: The No. 12 seeds have knocked off the No. 5 seeds in four of the past five tournaments.

GA. Tech 62, North Carolina 58: Derrick Favors had 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Yellow Jackets (20-11) hold off the Tar Heels (16-16).

Gani Lawal added 12 points for the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets, who had to fight the entire way to boost their shaky NCAA Tournament chances. Georgia Tech trailed by 13 in the first half, tied it early in the second half and pushed ahead in the final four minutes.

Favors hit his first seven shots and blocked Tyler Zeller's seemingly easy layup that would have tied it with two minutes left.

Georgia Tech faces Maryland today.

Zeller had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the 10th-seeded Tar Heels, who lost their tournament opener for the first time since falling to Georgia Tech in the 2004 quarterfinals.

"If somebody is going to invite me to play, I want to play," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said when asked whether his team would accept a NIT bid. "Maybe they won't even invite us."

virginia 68, bc 62: Sammy Zeglinski scored 16 of his season-high 21 in the first half as the Cavaliers (15-15) won their first game in a month and their first tournament game in four years.

Virginia had lost nine straight heading into Greensboro, but pushed ahead late in the first half and led by 11 midway through the second half. Virginia hadn't won a tournament game since beating Virginia Tech in the first round in 2006. Now the Cavaliers face Duke today.

Virginia is missing leading scorer Sylven Landesberg, a guard suspended for violating team academic policy, and guard and tri-captain Calvin Baker, who left this week for personal and family reasons.

"We've had some struggles, we've had some setbacks," coach Tony Bennett said, "but leading up to this game we've had three really spirited practices. They have come together, they have worked hard, there's been a good attitude."

Joe Trapani, averaging nearly 15 points per game, scored two on 0 for 7 shooting as Boston College dropped to 15-16.

n.c. state 59, clemson 57: Tracy Smith had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Wolfpack (18-14), which withstood a late rally and has won four of five. Coach Sidney Lowe broke out his red coat usually reserved for rivals Duke and North Carolina. The Tigers got 17 points and eight rebounds from Trevor Booker, but he got little help. Clemson shot 39 percent from the field, 56 percent from the foul line and committed 15 turnovers. Clemson, the only original ACC school not to win the tournament, fell to 16-57 in the event with 43 losses in its first game.

Miami routs Wake Forest in ACC tournament opener 03/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2010 6:25pm]

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