-Duke has gone 7-3 since Mike Krzyzewski returned to the bench in early February, a mark that includes Wednesday's second round win over Clemson.
Clemson Tigers forward Jaron Blossomgame (5) fouls Miami Hurricanes forward Kamari Murphy (21) during the second half at Watsco Center. North Carolina has won the ACC Tournament 18 times, one behind Duke for the most in conference history.
The Hurricanes may have the second or third best defense in the conference, holding teams to just 63.4 points per game this season. And the afternoon session on Thursday features a dandy of a quarterfinal match-up between No. 14 Duke and No. 10 Louisville. Basically, in order to win at times, you can not be normal.
"It's human nature", White said afterward. Our kids are ready to play. "In fact, most of the time it is emotional, and that is the toughest tire". They just need a complete team effort with good passing and smart shots all around. Jackson scored 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting while going just 1 of 7 on 3-point tries - though his only make came during the Tar Heels' game-clinching burst. Clemson trailed Duke 29-18 at the break, obviously making up all of their ground in the second half. The two combined to shoot 6-of-12 from behind the arc, and Syracuse shot 56.8 percent from the field overall.
Duke double-teamed Mitchell both when the Tigers in-bounded the ball on the baseline with six seconds left and at mid-court two seconds later after Kennard's near steal. He's stepped his game up recently, won the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC's top MBB Scholar Athlete, was named 3rd team All-ACC and 1st team All-Defense in the league.
The fifth-seeded Blue Devils (24-8) play fourth-seeded and No. 8 Louisville on Thursday at Barclays Center. File another one under missed opportunities for Clemson.
And Miami may have their work cut out for them, but this Hurricane team is no slouch. They space the floor.
It will be the first ACC Tournament game between Duke and UNC since 2011. Freshman Jayson Tatum averages 16 points while Allen has scored 14.5 points per game.
After the Cardinals (24-8) started the half on fire by taking advantage of gaping driving lanes, Duke went to a 2-3 zone for an extended period of time-one of the first times this season the Blue Devils have used that tactic.
The game also drew former UNC and National Basketball Association great Michael Jordan, who appeared at halftime with North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora to announce a Jordan Brand apparel deal with the program.
"He gives us a lot of freedom to shoot the ball", Kennard said of Krzyzewski. "I'm definitely excited for Round 2".