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Virginia 72, Duke 63

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guard Malcolm Brogdon’s 23 points and guard Joe Harris’ 15 points carried sixth-ranked Virginia to its first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship in 38 years in a 72-63 victory over seventh-ranked Duke on Sunday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The Cavaliers (28-6) pulled away from a second-half tie and are in position for a high seed in the NCAA tournament.

Duke forward Jabari Parker had 23 points, including a second-half flurry that had the arena buzzing.

Forward Anthony Gill added 12 points for top-seeded Virginia, which hadn’t won an ACC tournament title since 1976. Harris had 13 of his points in the second half.

Virginia made stops on three consecutive possessions, but Duke guard Quinn Cook was left open in transition for a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 64-60 with 1:26 left.

Brogdon answered for the Cavaliers on a drive, then two more defensive stands led to more Virginia free throws. A technical foul on Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon with 39 seconds to play sealed it.

Forward Rodney Hood’s 13 points and forward Amile Jefferson’s 11 points aided third-seeded Duke (26-8), which was going for its 20th ACC tournament crown.

Duke went up 45-44 on Parker’s 3-poiner at the 9:15 mark. That was part of a personal seven-point burst in a 90-second stretch for the freshman.

A tip-in from Virginia forward Akil Mitchell gave the Cavaliers at 57-53 edge.

Duke’s foul trouble included three players with four fouls with 6:34 remaining. By the 3:53 mark, Parker had his fourth foul.

Virginia led 28-25 at halftime, with Duke hitting 30 percent (9-for-30) of its shots.

It was tied after the first two Virginia possessions of the second half ended in turnovers.

Earlier, it took Duke 11 minutes reach double-figure points, primarily because of 3-for-20 shooting.

Even though Virginia broke to a 9-2 lead, the Blue Devils tied the score at 19-19 on Parker’s step-back 3-point basket with 3:53 left.

Virginia went up 25-19 late in the half after guard London Perrantes made two free throws off Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s technical foul.

Duke’s starting backcourt of guard Tyler Thornton and Sulaimon was scoreless in the first half. They ended up with a total of two points.

Virginia center Mike Tobey, who averages 6.4 points per game, had six points in the first nine minutes. Jefferson, who tallies 6.5 per outing, matched Tobey a couple of minutes later.

Jefferson ended up with a double-figure total for the first time in 12 games.

NOTES: The last time Virginia defeated Duke in the postseason came 20 years ago, but that wasn’t in the tournament final. … Duke won 16 of its previous 18 conference tournament games in Greensboro. … Virginia has held 21 consecutive opponents to less than 50-percent shooting from the field. … Duke won 69-65 in a regular-season meeting with visiting Virginia on Jan. 13.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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