Saturday, March 13, 2010

UPSET CITY: THREE LOWER SEEDS ADVANCE TO SEMI-FINALS


MIAMI 70, VIRGINIA TECH 65 – With freshman Durand Scott unstoppable in the final minutes while the ACC's top scorer couldn't hit a shot, Miami knocked off the Hokies, marking the fourth time in the first six games the higher seed lost.

The Hurricanes (20-12), who had dropped 11 of 14 games before arriving here, joined the 2006 Wake Forest team as the only 12th-seed to reach the semifinals. They'll face top-seed and No. 4 Duke on Saturday.

Scott scored 11 of his 17 points in the final 6 minutes and DeQuan Jones added 14 points for the Hurricanes, who beat fifth-seed Wake Forest a day earlier. The Hurricanes had never won two games in their previous five ACC tournaments.

"For us to play in the NCAA tournament, we've got to win the tournament," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "We're driven by that. If that gives us an extra incentive to do the little things we've talked about all year, I don't know. If it is, then let's keep doing it."

Fourth-seed Virginia Tech (23-8) got 18 points from Jeff Allen, but couldn't overcome a miserable performance by ACC top scorer Malcolm Delaney. He was held to seven points on 3 of 15 shooting, including 0 of 8 from 3-point range.

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GEORGIA TECH 69, MARYLAND 64 – Iman Shumpert scored 14 points and made the key defensive play that lifted Georgia Tech past No. 19 Maryland on Friday night in the ACC quarterfinals.

Maurice Miller added 13 points for the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (21-11). They blew most of a 19-point lead and had 25 turnovers, but for the second straight night, they did just enough to advance - this time, to the semifinals for the first time since 2005.

Greivis Vasquez had 17 points on 6 of 21 shooting for the second-seeded seed Terrapins (23-8). They had the ball and were within one possession of the lead six times in the final 4:30 and didn't score on any of those possessions.

The last chance came when Maryland trailed 67-64 and Vasquez pulled up for a long 3-pointer with about 6 seconds left. Shumpert knocked the ball from his hands, took off downcourt and was fouled. He and Derrick Favors each hit one free throw in the final 3.7 seconds to seal the Yellow Jackets' first victory in the series since 2004.

Favors finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Zachery Peacock added 11 points for the Yellow Jackets, who sent an already jumbled ACC bracket into further disarray. Entering Friday night's finale between North Carolina State and No. 3 seed Florida State, four of the top six seeds failed to make it out of the quarterfinals.

Landon Milbourne had 15 points and Eric Hayes added 14 for Maryland. The ACC's hottest team and its regular-season co-champion nearly staged one of the biggest second-half rallies in the storied history of its league tournament, but ultimately had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

Gani Lawal finished with 11 rebounds for Georgia Tech, which held a 38-30 rebounding advantage and shot nearly 56 percent for the game to Maryland's 37 percent - but the Terrapins did attempt 24 more shots than did the Yellow Jackets.

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N.C. STATE 58, FLORIDA STATE 52 – Freshman Scott Wood (#15) scored 18 points on six 3-pointers to help North Carolina State beat Florida State in what has to be seen as yet another improbable tournament run for Sid Lowe & Co. .

Tracy Smith added 13 points for the 11th-seeded Wolfpack (19-14), including a critical jumper to beat the shot clock with about a minute left that helped protect a slim lead. It was the second upset in as many nights for N.C. State, which has won five of six games and is back in the semifinals for the first time since its unexpected run to the finals three years ago.

N.C. State next faces seventh-seeded Georgia Tech.

Solomon Alabi scored 13 points for the third-seeded Seminoles (22-9), who never quite recovered after falling behind by nine midway through the second half.

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