Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Duke fights off upset bug

Duke’s Miles Plumlee hangs from the rim after dunking during the first half, which ended with Miami up 35-32.

Getty Images

Duke’s Miles Plumlee hangs from the rim after dunking during the first half, which ended with Miami up 35-32.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The momentum was on the opposing sideline after a 3-pointer just before the halftime horn. Duke's frustrated Hall of Fame coach had already been whistled for a technical foul. And the fourth-ranked Blue Devils were flirting with joining the long list of upset victims at the ACC tournament.

It's a good thing Kyle Singler is playing his best basketball of the season.

Singler had 27 points to help the Blue Devils push ahead in the second half to beat Miami 77-74 in Saturday's semifinals, sending them to the championship game for the 11th time in 13 years.

Jon Scheyer added 16 points, eight in the go-ahead 15-0 run early in the second half that restored some sort of order in this upset-filled week in Greensboro. The top-seeded Blue Devils (28-5) trailed by three at halftime against the league's last-place team before rallying to reach today's final, where they will defend their title against Georgia Tech.

"We have been there, but if anything that just helps us knowing how tough it is," Scheyer said. "We're fortunate to get through these tough games, and we know whoever we play, it's going to be a battle and we need to be ready."

Duke, the only one of the top six seeds to reach the semifinals, has won eight of the past 11 tournaments and is chasing a league-record 18th title. Though the Blue Devils have avoided an upset loss, they were tied at halftime with ninth-seeded Virginia in Friday's quarterfinals then found themselves trailing 35-32 against the 12th-seeded Hurricanes (20-13).

"We really haven't had a good first half in this tournament," Singler said. "It is frustrating. But I think the sign of a good team is to bounce back in the second half and find a way to win."

GA. TECH 57, N.C. STATE 54: Overcoming another near second-half meltdown, the Yellow Jackets ended the Wolfpack's surprise run.

Freshman Derrick Favors had 17 points and eight rebounds, Gani Lawal added 12 points and 10 rebounds and touted guard Iman Shumpert made a key defensive play late for seventh-seeded Georgia tech (22-11).

Despite his team coughing up a 10-point halftime lead and looking rattled against the press in the second half, coach Paul Hewitt was smiling after being a target of criticism for what some argue is serial underachieving.

Georgia Tech entered the tournament with five losses in seven games.

"The fans have been great, that's the one thing that has been consistent. There are other areas where some cheap shots have been taken," Hewitt said. "When I walk through the airports and go out to dinner with my family, you would be really shocked at how this stuff has turned. Now everybody goes out of their way to say, 'Hey coach, we respect what you're doing.' "

Duke fights off upset bug 03/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 13, 2010 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.