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The 2022 men’s basketball tournament comes to an end tonight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The top-seeded Duke Blue Devils will face the seventh-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies at 8:30 p.m. in the ACC championship game. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has led the Blue Devils to 15 ACC championships and, since he’s retiring following this season, tonight’s game is the final chance he has to win another.
The Hokies won three games in three days to reach the final. Virginia Tech knocked off No. 3 seed North Carolina 72-59 in Friday night’s second semifinal.
The last and only team in ACC tournament history to win four games in four days to claim the championship was Duke in 2017.
The News & Observer has seven journalists in New York covering the tournament, including C.L. Brown, Steve Wiseman, Luke DeCock and Andrew Carter. They will be providing live updates and analysis here throughout Saturday night’s game.
ACC championship game live updates and score
On the whistle, 8:06 pm.
The officials for tonight’s ACC championship game are veterans Roger Ayers, Ron Groover and Clarence Armstrong. Another well-known ACC official, Jamie Luckie, is in the building as an alternate after working Friday night’s semifinal between Duke and Miami.
It’s Ayers’ sixth ACC title game, Groover’s fourth and Armstrong’s first, although that distinction has a little less significance than it did in the days when the ACC would put its three best officials in the championship game. As the request of the coaches, for the past five years they have spread their top nine officials over the semifinals and finals to ensure a more even quality of officiating.
Virginia Tech 14, Duke 12 — 15:23, 1st half
And welcome to court side of the Barclays Center, ladies and gentlemen. Andrew Carter here, and I’ll be your neighborhood blogger this evening for Duke-Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament championship game. And so far, an entertaining game!
Both teams made five of first six shots from the field, and it’s the Hokies with a two-point lead at the first media timeout. Virginia Tech on pace for 112 points. Duke is hot, too. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come. We shall see.
Duke 16, Virginia Tech 14 — 12:00, 1st half
And then things cooled down.
The story the past four minutes or so: Duke has turned it up a notch defensively, but hasn’t done much, itself, on the other end. The Hokies now haven’t scored in four minutes, 20 seconds, but the Blue Devils haven’t made a shot from the field in about 2 1/2 minutes. Nonetheless, Duke finds itself on a 6-0 “run” over the past four minutes — one of the slowest 6-0 runs you’ll ever see.
Will Duke look upon this stretch of defensive prowess and regret not building more of a lead? Only time will tell.
Virginia Tech 27, Duke 26 — 6:41, 1st half
Game on, again.
After those doldrums that followed the hot start, the teams have warmed up again. Good times, good times. Basketball is fun again.
That scoring drought Virginia Tech was in: it lasted more than 5 1/2 minutes — a stretch that included three turnovers and six consecutive missed shots from the field. Hunter Cattoor broke the drought with a spinning layup in the lane to tie the game at 16, though Duke took it back on its next possession.
Speaking of Cattoor, Duke may want to do a better job of limiting his opportunities. He’s leading Virginia Tech with 16 points, and has made four 3s. Already those 16 points are more than he has scored in all but three games this season. Duke, meanwhile, has been more balanced, with three guys with at least five points thus far — including Paolo Banchero, who has a team-high 8.
The Hokies are shooting 52.6 percent; Duke 61.1 percent.
Virginia Tech 35, Duke 29 — 4:33, 1st half
And the Hokies are on an 8-0 run. Timeout Duke.
Happened like this: an A.J. Griffin 3 gave Duke a 29-27 lead, before Keve Aluma tied it with a little hook in the lane. And then, ditto: another Aluma short hook put the Hokies up 31-29 before Storm Murphy broke down Duke’s defense to put the Hokies up four. Then: more Aluma, and Coach K wants to have a chat.
Virginia Tech 38, Duke 31 — 3:09, first half
Not much to report since the last update, except that the Hokies now have their largest lead. And, oh: Coach K folded his arms and pursed his lips and shook his head when Joey Baker took, and missed, that last shot … and of course (given the way things are going this evening) Virginia Tech capitalized on the other end.
The Hokies are shooting 60 percent. Duke isn’t that far behind, at 57.1 percent. The difference: seven 3s for Tech, to Duke’s two. That adds up.
Virginia Tech 42, Duke 39 — Halftime
After Duke cut it to five, Coach K got off the bench, clapped and yelled. He was fired up, folks. He and Jon Scheyer stood next to each other. Banchero blocked Storm Murphy’s layup attempt and on the other end, after a deadball timeout, Wendell Moore penetrated and got to the rim for a layup. Suddenly it was a three-point game. The place was loud. And then, Mark Williams came up with a BIG block of an Aluma shot, and chants of “Let’s go Duke” rang out in the Barclays Center.
From there, A.J. Griffin missed a 3-point attempt near the top of the key. And that’s how it ended. The Hokies ended the half with a two-minute scoring drought, allowing the Blue Devils to creep a little closer. They’ll take it, probably.
Banchero leads Duke with 10. Griffin has 8; Moore and Williams both have 6. For Tech, Cattoor scored 17 in the first half, and Aluma has 11.
Virginia Tech 44, Duke 39 — 19:25, 2nd half
All of 35 seconds have elapsed in the second half, and already Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t like what he sees. After a Duke turnover, Virginia Tech scores on a jumper and that was that: K had seen enough. It was a full timeout. Duke down 5. Let’s see how the Blue Devils respond.
Virginia Tech 54, Duke 45 — 15:44, 2nd half
Well, Duke scored out of the timeout. But then Cattoor made another 3 — his fifth of the game, and he was at that point 5-for-5 from 3 — before Banchero scored to cut Tech’s lead back to four. The Hokies have made eight of their first 11 3-point attempts, and if that continues they’re going to be awfully difficult to beat (how’s that for analysis?)
A minute or two later: You guessed it, another Cattoor 3. And then a breakaway layup, and a foul, to give Virginia Tech a 54-45 lead, its largest. Cattoor is having a bonkers night — a Randolph Childress kind of night. He’s got 25 points and is 6-for-6 from 3. The possibility of this sort of outburst probably wasn’t in Duke’s scouting report.
Cattoor’s 25 points are two short of tying his season-high. And there’s still almost 16 minutes left here.
Virginia Tech 59, Duke 51 — 11:33, 2nd half
BREAKING NEWS: Cattoor missed a shot. He’s human, apparently. The miss, from 3, came with a little more than 15 minutes left. It was his first missed 3 of the night, after making his first six attempts.
After that Cattoor miss, Duke cut Tech’s lead to six, and the Duke fans here at the Barclays Center were urging the Blue Devils onto a stop. But an alley-oop attempt went awry, Murphy scored on a fast break and then Duke committed an offensive foul (Murphy drawing a charge there).
The Hokies had three chances to go up by double-digits but missed all three shots before a Banchero layup cut Tech’s lead back down to six. But after a couple of empty Duke possessions, the Hokies pushed it back out to eight. Critical moment here for Duke, which needs to make a move soon to avoid falling into a deeper hole.
Virginia Tech 65, Duke — 7:57, 2nd half
A weird thing about this game is that when Virginia Tech has gone cold, Duke just hasn’t been able to take advantage. The Hokies found themselves in a 1-for-8 stretch from the field at the exact same time that Duke went into a scoring drought that lasted more than 2 1/2 minutes. So, not a great recipe for cutting into a deficit.
That said, though, Moore hit a wide open 3 from the corner, in front of the Duke bench, to cut the Hokies’ lead to five with about 10:30 left. That energized the Duke crowd. But, somehow, Justyn Mutts made a turnaround in the lane to give Virginia Tech more breathing room. Seems like it’s been like that all game — and then Banchero got whistled for a (questionable) charge call that took away a basket.
Cue the boos in the Barclays Center. There were a lot of them.
Coach K stood for a while, staring down Ron Groover, the official who made the call.
The Hokies, meanwhile, stretched the lead back out to eight after Murphy found Darius Maddox for a layup that just beat the shot clock. And there we stand. Getting into the nitty-gritty now.
Virginia Tech 72, Duke 62 — 3:59, second half
Guess what happened after a Banchero 3 made it a seven-point game with about 6 1/2 minutes to play? If you had “Cattoor hit another 3 of his own,” give yourself something shiny. You win. Indeed, he made his seventh 3, giving Virginia Tech a 10-point lead, its largest of the game.
Virginia Tech is just having one of those special nights, it seems. Especially (very obviously) Cattoor. His performance here this evening brings to mind ones from J.J. Redick and Childress in championship-winning efforts of the past.
Slow chants of “Hoookies … Hoookies” ringing out in the Barclays Center.
Does Duke have another run in it? Time is starting to run low.
Virginia Tech 82, Duke 67 — Final
The answer to that previous question: No. No, the Blue Devils did not have another run in them. It ended with Duke more or less falling apart down the stretch and Virginia Tech pouring it on in the final minutes. It’s over: Virginia Tech has won its first ACC championship. In the process, the Hokies denied Mike Krzyzewski his 16th — and did so in Coach K’s final ACC tournament.
He sat glumly on the bench, arms folded, in the final moments.
Duke was already in clock-preservation mode — rolling the ball up the floor, to save a few seconds here and there — with about three minutes to play. Virginia Tech led by 11 then, and its supporters could taste it. Moments later, Justyn Mutts dunked all over Banchero, giving Virginia Tech a 12-point lead, its largest of the game.
Indeed, things looked grim for the Blue Devils. After a Virignia Tech timeout, Coach K stood in front of his team’s bench, arms folded, and watched Duke come up empty on another possession. On the other end, Aluma scored amid a Banchero foul. Aluma missed the free throw, but Virginia Tech’s lead was 14.
Meanwhile, at that point Duke had made a shot from the field in 4 1/2 minutes.
How to watch the ACC championship game
ESPN is broadcasting Saturday’s Duke-Virginia Tech ACC championship game, which begins at 8:30 p.m.
ESPN is available through Spectrum cable or over satellite with DirectTV and Dish Network. You can stream ESPN on WatchESPN.com with a valid cable or satellite subscription. Alternatively, cable cutters can access it via YouTube TV and Hulu+ Live TV or ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+.
ACC championship game odds
Duke is a six-point favorite over Virginia Tech.
The Blue Devils and Hokies played just once this season, with Duke prevailing, 76-65, back on Dec. 22 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game was notable as Virginia Tech led, 36-32, at halftime. It was the first time Duke had trailed at halftime this season and it’s only happened four other times since then.
The Blue Devils opened the ACC tournament as a strong favorite to win the championship with odds sitting at -130, according to the Action Network. UNC, which lost to the Hokies during Friday night’s semifinals, had the second-best odds at +8000 (8-to-1).
This story was originally published March 12, 2022 7:15 PM.