No. 14 Duke Beats No. 6 North Carolina In ACC Tournament Semis

NEW YORK — No. 14 Duke rallied to defeat No. 6 North Carolina 93-83 in the ACC Tournament semifinal at Barclays Center here in Brooklyn on Friday night.

The Blue Devils (26-8) trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but rallied to secure the victory and advanced to the ACC Tournament title game where they will face No. 22 Notre Dame, which picked up a 77-73 victory over No. 16 Florida State in the night’s second semifinal game.

Jayson Tatum scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half, while grabbing seven rebounds to lead the way for Duke.

The freshman forward is averaging 23 points in three ACC Tournament games.

“It’s like night and day from the one stretch when we were 1-4,” he said. “We’re clicking at the right time.”

Luke Kennard added 20 points, including 15 in the second half on 4-of-5 shooting during that period and Grayson Allen buried 18 off the bench with four 3-pointers for the Blue Devils, who will play for the title Saturday night.

“I don’t know if we’re even close to being the team we’re capable of being, but we’re finding something about ourselves and it’s something good,” said Duke senior Amile Jefferson, who scored eight points before fouling out.

Freshman Frank Jackson ended with 15 points for Duke, which won two of the three head-to-head meetings between the sides this season.

“Our guys are in really good shape. I was actually amazed today because Carolina really comes at you,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “So it could have worn us out, and it didn’t.”

Kennedy Meeks had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Isaiah Hicks added 19 points and seven boards for North Carolina, which shot just 28.6 percent in the second half.

“It was a big-time game for a while, and then it got so it was not a big-time game,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

“I think the most-disciplined, the best-coached team, the most-focused team is the one that won the game tonight. I didn’t do as good a job as Mike did.”

Justin Jackson scored 16 points, while Joel Berry II, who scored 28 points in a win over the Blue Devils last weekend, finished with 10 in the defeat for the Tar Heels (27-7) on Friday after getting into foul trouble.

“It was brutal. I hate that I was on the bench,” Berry said. “I put the blame on me.”

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