Duke basketball holds off Virginia, 59-49, to win ACC tournament title in Greensboro

This time, Duke left no doubt, and the Blue Devils left the Greensboro Coliseum as ACC champions.

In a rematch against No. 13 Virginia after a controversial loss to the Cavaliers one month earlier, Duke never trailed and rode 20 points from Kyle Filipowski and key second-half shots from Jeremy Roach to a 59-49 win in Saturday night’s ACC tournament championship game.

Fourth-seeded Duke (26-8) extended its winning streak to nine games to win its league-record 22nd ACC championship. The Blue Devils have won three of the past six ACC tournaments that have been completed (not counting the 2020 edition cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic).

Virginia (25-7), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, struggled offensively and finished with a 33.3% shooting percentage.

Duke, which led by as many as 14 in the second half, held a 47-40 lead before Roach, who scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, hit a fade-away jumper in the lane with 3:20 to play.

Isaac McKneely drilled a 3-pointer for Virginia, slicing Duke’s lead to 49-43 with 3:05 left.

Roach, though, drove through the lane to score while drawing a foul. His free throw with 2:38 left pushed Duke’s lead to 52-43.

Virginia made one last push with Reece Beekman scoring on a steal and layup before Kihei Clark’s basket at 1:09 left the Blue Devils up 52-47.

Filipowski hit one free throw and Beekman’s layup left Duke with a 53-49 lead with 44 seconds left.

But Roach hit four consecutive free throws and Mark Mitchell added two more in the final 39 seconds to seal the win for Duke.

After leading 24-17 at halftime, Duke pushed its lead into double digits with big shots from Roach early in the second half.

Roach scored eight points, hitting two 3-pointers, as the Blue Devils grabbed a 36-22 lead with 14:35 to play. Roach’s first two made shots of the half — one a 3-pointer and the other a baseline jumper — hit the rim and bounced in the air before falling through as the Blue Devils benefited from friendly rims.

But the teams went through a joint scoring drought as no points were scored for 3:56. Filipowski broke that with a basket inside putting Duke up 38-27 with 9:19 to play.

Virginia countered, though, with five consecutive points on a pair of Beekman free throws and an Isaac McKneely 3-pointer that sliced Duke’s lead to 38-32 with 8:33.

But Proctor answered with a 3-pointer from the right corner on a kick-out pass from Filipowski. Seconds later, Filipowski stole the ball and drove for an emphatic slam dunk restoring Duke’s 11-point lead at 43-32 with 7:30 to play.

Duke shut down Virginia’s offense in the first half to build a 24-17 edge at intermission.

The Cavaliers hit only 6 of 22 shots (27.3%), including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers, while turning the ball over seven times. Yes, that’s right. Virginia had more turnovers than made shots over the first 20 minutes.

It took Virginia scoring six of the final eight points of the half over its final two minutes to cut into what had been an 11-point Duke lead. Until that final flurry, Virginia had only scored on back-to-back possessions once previously in the half.

Filipowski scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half. But the Blue Devils only hit 40.9% of their shots while turning the ball over six times. No other Duke player scored more than four points.