Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Recap
No. 1 Duke 69, No. 5 Georgia Tech 64
No. 1 Duke survived a late rally by No. 5 Georgia Tech to win the ACC title 69-65, the Blue Devils’ sixth conference championship in seven years. Duke was rewarded with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament thanks to another spectacular three-day performance capped by the ACC title.
Junior guard J.J. Redick followed his 35-point semifinal performance with 26 points against the Yellow Jackets. He made only two three-pointers as 10 points of his total came from the free-throw line. Junior forward Shelden Williams was a monster in the paint with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Duke again dominated on the glass, 42-36, including 15 offensive rebounds. With so many opportunities, Duke overcame a sub-40 percent shooting performance.
Georgia Tech was no better from the field, shooting less than 30 percent. Senior guard Will Bynum struggled, going 4-of-17 from the field for 14 points, a day after his 35-point outburst against No. 1 North Carolina Junior guard Jarrett Jack led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points. Jack left the game midway through the second half with a badly turned ankle. But he returned minutes later to help Georgia Tech rally late.
The Yellow Jackets pulled within three in the final minute, but Bynum missed two good looks at three-point shots. Freshman guard David McClure missed two free throws with four seconds remaining, but Williams tipped back the miss to provide the five-point margin of victory.
Later in the evening, Duke learned that the NCAA selection committee gave Duke a No. 1 seed instead of Wake Forest, which lost in the quarterfinals to North Carolina State. The ACC’s regular-season champ, North Carolina, and conference champ, the Blue Devils, are top seeds in the Syracuse and Austin regions, respectively, and could meet in the national semifinal.