An Erick Green layup at the 18-minute mark brought Virginia Tech within six, but an 11-2 Duke run pushed the lead back into double figures to stay as the #2-seeded Blue Devils topped the #6 seed Hokies 77-63 on Saturday in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
About 16 hours after an emotional 52-51 victory over Florida State, Tech (21-11) came out flat for Duke, which lost 64-60 at Tech two weeks ago.
“We needed to play well, not just play hard. I thought we played really hard. Unfortunately, we didn’t play as well tonight,” said coach Seth Greenberg, whose team must now await its NCAA Tournament fate on Selection Sunday.
ESPN bracket guru Joe Lunardi has Virginia Tech as one of his last four at-large teams in following the loss. The Hokies are in the low 60s in the various approximations of the RPI ratings that are a key part of the NCAA tourney selection committee’s deliberations.
“I won’t believe we’re getting in until our name is called. I’m not going to go to bed thinking we’re in or whatever. I’m going to think the worst, and hopefully we’ll come out with the best tomorrow,” said Tech senior guard Malcolm Delaney, who led the Hokies on Saturday with 19 points despite shooting just 4-for-14 from the field.
Duke (29-4) advances to play North Carolina (26-6) in Sunday’s ACC Tournament title game.