NEW YORK – Alas, no rivalry rubber matchup at the Barclays Center.
Duke took care of business and defeated Miami, but UNC fell to Virginia Tech, 72-59, in the second of Friday night’s two ACC tournament semifinals. That sends the scorching seventh-seeded Hokies into their first-ever conference tournament championship game, where they will play the top-seeded Blue Devils.
It also deprives ACC fans of a 12th all-time ACC tournament championship matchup between UNC and Duke. UNC leads that series 6-5, but Duke has won three in a row and four of the last five. The teams last played each other in a conference title game in 2011, with Duke winning 75-58 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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Third-seeded UNC, which had won 12 of its last 14 games and was trending as an No. 8 NCAA Tournament seed entering Friday, trailed by many as 20 points to Virginia Tech and never held a lead past the 6:00 mark of the first half. Guard Darius Maddox had a team-high 20 points and four 3-pointers for VT, and forward Keve Aluma added 18 points.
Duke and Virginia Tech will play in Saturday’s ACC championship game at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Virginia Tech upsets UNC in ACC tournament semifinals