NC State couldn’t seem to miss in the first half. Duke took care of that problem after halftime. The Blue Devils held State to 35 percent shooting in the second half to pull away to a 75-67 win in Saturday’s second ACC Tournament semifinal.
#3 seed Duke (26-7, 15-5 ACC) advances to the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. against top seed Virginia (27-6, 17-2 ACC). Duke defeated UVa. in Durham in the teams’ only regular-season meeting on Jan. 13 by a 69-65 final.
#7 seed NC State (21-13, 11-10 ACC) likely sees its bid for an NCAA Tournament bid fall just short after upsetting #2 seed Syracuse Friday night. But the Wolfpack made it interesting, shooting 67 percent from the field in the first half to stay in the game with Duke, which still led 39-38 at the break.
A three-pointer by State’s Ralston Turner tied the game at 45 with 15:42 to go, but a 13-2 Duke run over the next four minutes broke the game open.
Duke led by as many as 12, and while NC State was able to briefly cut the lead to six in the final seconds, the outcome was never in doubt in the final minutes.