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ACC Live Blog: Virginia beats Duke for title

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -

Duke faces Virginia for the ACC championship on Sunday. Here is WNCN's live blog on the contest.

VIRGINIA WINS

VIRGINIA WINS: Virginia wins, 72-63.

FOUL TIME: Andre Dawkins just hit a three for Duke, got fouled by Joe Harris, but missed the free throw. Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon just added a free throw and its 72-63 Virginia now with 15.1 left.

CAVALIERS UP: Malcolm Brogdon just drove to the lane and scored, putting Virginia ahead 66-60. Virginia called timeout and Mike Krzyzewski used the time to have a nose-to-nose conversation with official Mike Eades.

Only 1:05 to play.

Duke's Quinn Cook had a wide-open look right at the basket, but just missed it. 55.3 to play now. Two free throws by Brogdon make it 68-60.

Rasheed Sulaimon just missed a three-pointer and he yanked out his mouthpiece to yell at official Tim Nestor, who promptly called him for a technical. Virginia leads 68-60, Sulaimon is out of the game with five fouls, and Virginia is about to go to the line.

BIG CAVALIERS RUN: Virginia has bolted to a 64-60 lead, with Akil Mitchell playing great defense on Jabari Parker and Joe Harris nailing a big three-pointer.

But Quinn Cook answered with a huge three-pointer for Duke and it's 64-60 now, Virginia ball with 1:26 to play.

CAVALIERS UP: Duke just went to Jabari Parker, but he was well-covered by Akil Mitchell and missed a tough jump shot. Duke got the rebound but Parker missed again.

And at the other end, Parker fouled Anthony Gill inside, putting Gill at the line and he made both. Virginia leads, 59-53.

AT THE LINE: A major factor in this game is foul shooting. Virginia has taken a whopping 28 free throws but has made only 17. The Cavaliers' lea 55-53 but that number would be higher if they were shooting better.

Duke is only 7 of 9 at the line. And Duke has been called for 23 fouls and Virginia only 13.

HARRIS RESPONDING: Virginia senior Joe Harris is looking to keep his team in this one after the flurry of points by Jabari Parker. He just drove the lane hard, drew a foul from Duke's Amile Jefferson and watched as the ball bounced around the rim and dropped.

Harris just missed the foul shot and Virginia leads 49-47.

Duke, by the way, has been called for 22 fouls in the game and Virginia only 12.

GOOD LUCK IN NBA, JABARI: Well, Jabari Parker just raised his draft stock, if that's possible.

Virginia made a careless pass that Parker stepped in and grabbed. And Parker just zoomed down the court with it, soared through the air with one hand and dunked to cut Virginia's lead to 43-42.

Oh, and if that's not enough, he hit a 22-foot three-pointer after that to put Duke ahead 45-43. And when Virginia scored, he scored again to put Duke up 47-46.

Wow, that kid can really play. He has 21 points now, with 8:39 to play.

WHEW, WHAT A GAME: This game sure feels like a championship, doesn't it?

Both teams are playing hard and well, hitting some big-time shots and hustling on defense. Virginia leads 41-40 after a tough, beautiful shot. Less than 11 minutes to play.

COACH K'S PEN: Well, it didn't take long for someone to create a Coach K Pen Twitter site. Ah, love it.

You can follow it here: https://twitter.com/CoachK_Pen

Too bad there wasn't Twitter in the days of Bob Knight and Lefty Driesell, huh?

TENSE SECOND HALF: Duke star Jabari Parker has come alive in the second half, making some huge baskets for the Blue Devils, and Virginia and Duke are locked in a tense struggle in the second half.

Virginia leads 36-35 right now and neither team can shake the other. The Cavaliers' Malcom Brogdon has made some terrific shots, as has Cavs star Joe Harris. And Akil Smith continued to be a monster on the boards.

But Duke, after appearing knocked back in the early going, looks confident and aggressive.

HALFTIME STATS: Virginia leads 28-25 at the half. Here's a look at some key stats:

* Fouls: Duke has 11 fouls and Virginia 6. That's led to UVa shooting  9 of 14 at the line and Duke 3 of 3.

* Jabari Parker: The Duke star is only 2 of 10 from the field, and Virginia's Akil Mitchell, and a swarming UVa defense, has made it tough going for him so far.

* Rebounds: Duke is outrebounding Virginia 20-17.

* Shooting: Duke has hit 4 of 7 three-pointers, aided by some good shots toward the end of the half. Virginia, less known for three-point shooting, is 3 of 7.

FAST FINISH: Duke just called time with 2:07 showing. Interesting trend so far - Duke has been called for 11 fouls and Virginia only 6. That's made a difference at the foul line, where the Blue Devils are 3 of 3 from the line and Virginia 9 of 14.

That may be why Krzyzewski was so irate after Virginia stole the ball from Duke and then Duke was called for a foul. Krzyzewski called time and wound up being called for a technical, although it was difficult to see why.

Official Jamie Luckie, calling his first ACC final, went over to talk to Krzyzewki, who turned around and angrily through a magic marker toward the bench.

Virginia got two free throws, and London Perrantes made both for a 25-19 lead.

Andre Dawkins hit a deep three-pointer for Duke, and Perrantes nailed a three for Virginia. Then Rodney Hood added another three for Duke, and the first half ended with Virginia ahead, 28-25.

TENSE GAME: Duke has battled back into this game, with an intense defense that has Virginia looking more tentative on offense.

Duke just had a huge possession when they had the shot clock run almost all the way down but Jabari Parker hit a long three-pointer with two seconds on the shot clock. That tied the score at 19 and there's only 3:17 left in what has been tense, hard-fought first half.

Virginia has had a hard time getting off good shots and the Cavaliers, after looking so confident in the beginning, aren't moving on offense and playing with poise the way they were in the beginning.

CAVS AHEAD: Duke has started to match Virginia's pace and intensity and has settled into the rhythm of the game, with Virginia now leading 17-12

One trend line that's clear is Virginia's Akil Mitchell is doing a marvelous job on Duke's Jabari Parker. Mitchell jammed back one of Parker's jump shots and, overall, Parker is having a hard time seeing the rim and getting going. He's only 1 for 8 in the game and just missed a three-pointer that was a rare open look for him.

Duke is getting its scoring from Amile Jefferson, who has six points. Rodney Hood has only three points, on 1 of 5 shooting. Rasheed Sulaimon, the hero of the win over Virginia in Durham, hasn't scored.

THE OFFICIALS: Virginia leads 13-7 right now with 11:57 to play, but let's pause for a second to look at the officiating crew. Fans sometimes overlook the impact of referees on games, but coaches, and players, certainly don't.

The ACC grades officials  throughout the tournament and puts what it feels are its top refs on the floor for the finals. It's a huge honor for the officials to be in the game today.

Last year, calling the ACC title between Miami and UNC were Roger Ayers, Bryan Kersey and Mike Eades. Eades is back on the floor today but Ayers, usually one of the league's top officials, is not. Interesting decision there on Ayers. Joining Eades on the court are Tim Nestor and, in a surprise, Jamie Luckie. This is Luckie's first ACC final, and the fact that the ACC put him in over Ayers is a bit of a surprise.

Ayers called the Virginia-Pitt game with Sean Hul and Karl Hess. Calling the Duke-State game Saturday were Bryan Kersey, Brian Dorsey and Les Jones.

BIG PLAYS FOR UVA: Duke's Jabari Parker, who hasn't scored, just put up a jumper on Akili Mitchell that Mitchell promptly swatted away.

Then on the other end, Virginia's Joe Harris drove, saw Malcolm Brogdon open at the top of the key and kicked the ball out for a Brodgon three-pointer. It's 12-4 Cavaliers now and Duke is struggling after two straight turnovers.

CAVALIERS HOT: Virginia looks confident right off the bat and the Cavaliers are attacking Duke's defense in the early going.

Right now it's 9-4 and that score is pretty indicative of how the game is going. Virginia has baskets from four different players and Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon look like they are clearly in the flow of the game.

Amile Jefferson has both of Duke's baskets. Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are each 0-1.

THE MATCHUP: Duke faces Virginia for the ACC title today in a matchup of two smart, well-drilled teams.

Both teams advanced to the finals with the superb second-half efforts on Saturday. Virginia came out strong to beat Pitt, while Duke had a terrific half to pull away from N.C. State.

By the way, the ACC Network just showed a look back at the 1974 championship game in Greensboro between N.C. State and Maryland.

The Wolfpack, led by David Thompson and Tommy Burleson, won that epic game 103-100, a contest still considered the greatest in ACC history. Nine players in that game eventually played in the NBA.

Funny, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sounded exhausted in his pregame interview on TV. Krzyzewski sounded totally hoarse.

"You get nothing easy" against Virginia, Krzyzewski said.

He also praised Virginia's offensive balance and said that makes them difficult to defend.

The teams played once this season, with Duke winning 69-65 in Durham on Jan. 13. That's the game when Rasheed Sulaimon's three-pointer from the left wing hit the rim, bounced high in the air and fell in.

Sulaimon had 21 points for Duke in that game and Rodney Hood had 14.

That's also when Duke had an 11-point lead with 3 and a half minutes to go before Virginia launched a stunning rally.

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