Duke Advances to Championship Game

Duke Advances to Championship Game

NEW YORK (AP) Paolo Banchero had 18 points and 11 rebounds and No. 7 Duke held off Miami with free throws in the final minute as the Blue Devils and retiring coach Mike Krzyzewski advanced to the 2022 New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship with an 80-76 victory Friday night.

Top-seeded Duke (28-5) will face the winner of the second semifinal between third-seeded North Carolina and seventh-seeded Virginia Tech in Saturday night’s championship at Barclays Center.

AJ Griffin scored 21 points, including three free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal Coach K’s 22nd appearance in the ACC title game.

Krzyzewski has won a conference-record 15 ACC championships.

Kameron McGusty scored 24 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-10), who beat the Blue Devils on the road earlier this season and appear to be in solid shape for an NCAA Tournament bid.

The size and strength of the Blue Devils in the paint was hard to handle for the Hurricanes. Banchero, coming off a poor shooting game against Syracuse, was 8 for 10 from the field with almost all of his damage coming inside.

McGusty and Jordan Miller (17 points, 11 rebounds) got plenty of good looks on mid-range jumpers and getting to the hoop. The two combined to shoot 19 for 35 as the Hurricanes finished 47 percent from the floor.

Sam Waardenburg made a corner 3 for Miami with 5 minutes left that tied the score at 65 with 5:00 left. The ”Canes then went more than four minutes without another field goal.

Wendell Moore Jr. made two free throws for Duke with 58.6 seconds left to put the Blue Devils up 72-69.

Duke nudged the lead up to 77-71 with more free throws before another corner 3 by Waardenburg cut the lead to 3 with 16.7 seconds left, but the Hurricanes never got another chance to tie or take the lead.

The Hurricanes led by as many as 11 in the first half, but Griffin scored 12 straight points late for Duke and Jeremy Roach closed the half with a full-court dash and layup to tie it at 36.

Duke last won the ACC Tournament in 2019 with Zion Williamson. The Blue Devils also won the first ACC Tournament played in Brooklyn in 2017.