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ACC Quarterfinals Recap

March 13, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments




Atlantic Coast Conference Quarterfinals Recap

Recap by Michael Protos

No. 1 Duke 84, No. 8 Virginia 74
The No. 1 Blue Devils likely ended No. 8 Virginia’s chances of earning an NCAA at-large bid as Duke fought to an 84-74 win. The game was Virginia’s best effort against Duke this season, but it still came up short as the Cavaliers could not stop sophomore forward Shelden Williams or junior guard Daniel Ewing. Williams finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Ewing had 26 points, including all four of his three-point attempts.

The Cavaliers had knocked off No. 9 Clemson 83-79 in overtime about 14 hours prior to the tip off of this game. Virginia needed another good win or two to complete its late transformation and have a realistic shot at the NCAA Tournament. If the Cavaliers do not make the tournament but do receive an invitation to the NIT, they should use the opportunity to build postseason experience for the solid core of young players.

No. 2 NC State 78, No. 7 Florida State 71
It was the same old story for the No. 7 Seminoles against No. 2 NC State – a tough battle with great defense, but Florida State could not muster enough offensive firepower to pull off the win. Senior guard Tim Pickett scored 23 points for the Seminoles, but NC State allowed only one other player to reach double figures. NC State was led by junior guard Julius Hodge with 19 points, six points and five rebounds. But three other players scored at least 16 points to balance the effort.

The loss damages Florida State’s at-large hopes, but with Virginia’s loss, the Seminoles are still probably number seven in line in the ACC to get into the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles will be hoping that no more upsets steal the final bid that could come to Florida State tomorrow on Selection Sunday.

No. 6 Maryland 87, No. 3 Wake Forest 86
One of the best quarterfinal games yesterday ended with No. 6 Maryland beating No. 3 Wake Forest 87-86. Neither team could build an insurmountable lead on the other. Each team’s superstars rose to the occasion in clutch time. With Maryland leading by five with under a minute remaining, freshman guard Chris Paul drained a three pointer for Wake Forest to cut the lead to two. Then Paul hit two free throws to tie the game after Maryland turned the ball over and fouled Paul. For a moment, he appeared to suffer a leg crap but stretched and managed to have the strength and composure to hit the free throws. Paul finished with a career-high 30 points, and added four rebounds and nine assists.

With the momentum favoring Wake Forest, sophomore guard John Gilchrist took control of the game. He took an inbounds pass with a little more than 10 seconds remaining and bided time before driving to the basket for an attempt at game-winning shot. He didn’t need to make it, however, as Wake Forest fouled him with three seconds remaining. Gilchrist made the front end of the shot and intentionally missed the second shot, giving Maryland the one-point victory. Gilchrist finished with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Off the court, an off-duty police officer accidentally shot himself in the hip with a concealed gun. He appears to be in good condition, but concealed weapons are not permitted in the Greensboro Coliseum, and stadium officials are investigating the situation.

No. 4 Georgia Tech 83, No. 5 North Carolina 82
Another classic ACC tournament game ended with a buzzer-beating, game-winning shot. No.4 Georgia Tech’s sophomore guard Jarrett Jack received a pass about 30 feet from the basket with five seconds remaining, passed No.5 North Carolina’s sophomore guard Rashad McCants as if he wasn’t moving and pulled up for a two-point shot near the top of the key, draining the shot with just a couple of seconds remaining. It pulled the Yellow Jackets ahead 83-82, and Georgia Tech escaped despite blowing an 11-point lead in the final six minutes.

North Carolina has not played inconsistently down the stretch and needed the win to rebuild some momentum going into the ACC tournament. Instead, Georgia Tech is the hottest team in the ACC and will play Duke in the semifinals – a rematch of last week’s game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, which the Yellow Jackets won to end Duke’s 41-game winning streak at home.

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