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Virginia Tech ousts Miami from ACC tournament

The Hurricanes’ Jimmy Graham, left, looks for a way around the Hokies’ Jeff Allen. Virginia Tech held a 51-25 edge in rebounding.

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The Hurricanes’ Jimmy Graham, left, looks for a way around the Hokies’ Jeff Allen. Virginia Tech held a 51-25 edge in rebounding.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fourth-seeded Virginia Tech used an 18-2 run in the second half Friday to erase a one-point deficit and solidify its claim to an NCAA bid for the second straight year with a 63-49 win over Miami in the ACC quarterfinals.

"I told our guys before the game to play harder and trust (each other) more and go out there and play ball," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said.

His young Hokies did that when it mattered the most, down 42-41 with 9:37 left against No. 5-seeded Miami (22-10), which had won seven of its last nine — including against Duke — to make its case for an NCAA bid.

Not only did the Hokies turn a pair of offensive rebounds into clutch 3-pointers from freshman guard Malcolm Delaney to spark the decisive spurt, they also shut down sharpshooting guard Jack McClinton and dominated the boards.

McClinton, who had a game-high 16 points, was just 4 of 17 shooting, 3 of 11 from 3-point range.

"My hat goes off to Virginia Tech; they played great defense," he said.

Meanwhile, senior forward Deron Washington and freshman forward Jeff Allen each had a double double as the Hokies outrebounded the taller 'Canes 51-25. Miami outrebounded them 35-20 in the lone regular-season meeting, a 74-71 Miami win on Feb. 9 in Blacksburg.

"At the nine-minute mark, we were up and there were two offensive rebounds that we gave up back to back that I thought broke our backs," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "They nailed two 3s on those two possessions and we never recovered."

Clemson 82, B.C. 48: James Mays scored 15 and the Tigers overwhelmed the Eagles with their full-court press, reaching the semifinals for the first time in 10 years. After a sluggish start, Clemson made life miserable for Boston College, which often had trouble getting the ball across midcourt. The Eagles committed 22 turnovers a night after 11th-seeded Boston College stunned Maryland to keep its season alive. Clemson, holding its highest ACC seed in 18 years at No. 3, looked nervous early, missing its first five shots in falling behind 6-0. But after the shots started falling and the Tigers could set up the press, it was over quickly — as in a 19-0 run before the game was seven minutes old.

No. 7 Duke 82, Ga. Tech 70: Jon Scheyer scored 18 and the Blue Devils blew nearly all of an early 20-point lead before rallying. DeMarcus Nelson had 17 points, and Greg Paulus added 13 for second-seeded Duke. Maurice Miller scored 16 for Yellow Jackets and keyed their second-half rally that cut Duke's lead to two. Miller had eight points during the 19-2 burst that ended when Lewis Clinch's baseline jumper made it 52-50 with 13½ minutes left. Nelson reeled off four points to start the 19-6 run that gave the Blue Devils plenty of breathing room. They went back up by double figures to stay when Paulus' 3 from the left corner made it 64-54, held Georgia Tech to three field goals in nearly 10 minutes and led by 16 late. Zack Peacock had 13 points, and Charlotte native Anthony Morrow added 12 for the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Virginia Tech ousts Miami from ACC tournament 03/14/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2008 12:16am]
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