No. 21 Duke stifles No. 13 Virginia to claim ACC championship

no-21-duke-stifles-no.-13-virginia-to-claim-acc-championship

Jeremy Roach scored 11 of his 23 points in the final five minutes and Kyle Filipowski wrapped up a splendid Atlantic Coast Conference tournament by scoring 20 points as No. 21 Duke fended off No. 13 Virginia 59-49 in the title game Saturday night in Greensboro, N.C.

Duke (26-8) scored the game’s last six points to win its first ACC tournament since 2019 and gave coach Jon Scheyer a championship in his first season. A first-year coach hadn’t won the tournament since North Carolina’s Bill Guthridge in 1998.

Filipowski, who grabbed 10 rebounds, led the Blue Devils in scoring in their other two tournament games against fifth-seeded Pittsburgh and top-seeded Miami.

Virginia (25-7), the regular-season co-champion, didn’t have a player reach a double-figure point total until about three minutes to play. Reece Beekman had 12 points and Isaac McKneely finished with 10 points.

This outcome avenged Duke’s overtime loss last month at Virginia in a game when a ruling at the end of regulation was botched by game officials. The ACC acknowledged that blunder in a statement hours after that game, a mistake that prevented giving Filipowski two free throws with a chance to win the game in regulation.

The Blue Devils haven’t lost since then, winning nine in a row.

Duke opened a 36-22 edge early in the second half. There was a scoring drought for both teams that lasted nearly four minutes before Filipowski’s basket pushed the Blue Devils to a 38-27 advantage with 9:18 to play.

Virginia closed within 38-32 before Tyrese Proctor’s 3-pointer and Filipowski’s dunk rebuilt a double-digit margin.

The Blue Devils led 24-17 at halftime. Duke’s defense did the bulk of the work in the first half, holding the Cavaliers to 27.3 percent shooting from the field. Filipowski had 11 points by halftime.

The teams have met twice in the tournament championship game, both times in Greensboro. Virginia won in 2014.

–Field Level Media

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