Duke handles Virginia Tech to reach ACC finalMar 13, 2011 - 1:31 AM Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - Nolan Smith didn't appear injured, scoring 27 points and handing out six assists, as No. 5 Duke dumped Virginia Tech, 77-63, to reach the championship round of the ACC Tournament.
Smith injured his toe in Friday's win over Maryland, but nonetheless guided the Blue Devils (29-4) to a showdown with North Carolina in Sunday's final. The rivals last met in the tourney title game in 2001.
"Seeing my team fight so hard [Friday], I wanted to get back on the court. An injury is not going to stop me at this time of the year," Smith said. "We only have a couple more games to go. I'm a senior, and I just want to help my team win games."
Kyle Singler posted 13 points and 11 rebounds for Duke, which held the Hokies (21-11) to 2-of-16 shooting from behind the arc.
Malcolm Delaney and Erick Green paced Virginia Tech with 19 and 17 points, respectively, but the Hokies failed to upset Duke again to leave their NCAA Tournament fate in the hands of the selection committee.
"We're hoping for the best. We're proud of our body of work but certain things are out of our control," said Hokies head coach Seth Greenberg.
Virginia Tech, seeded sixth in the tourney, beat the then-No. 1 Blue Devils on February 26 and played virtually even for the first 10 minutes on Saturday.
Smith, though, scored 10 straight points to give the No. 2 seed a 26-16 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left in the opening half.
Smith totaled 16 points in the first stanza, and a late Seth Curry three- pointer gave Duke a 39-28 lead at the break.
The second half was sloppy on both ends, with the flow of play often getting broken up by fouls and turnovers. Duke led comfortably throughout, as Miles Plumlee converted a three-point play for a 52-39 cushion with 13 minutes remaining.
The margin was double digits the rest of the way in favor of the two-time defending tourney champs.
Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen had just two points and seven rebounds before fouling out. He came in averaging 13.6 points and 10.0 boards...Curry added 10 points for Duke, which is looking for its 19th conference tourney title...Duke had 15 turnovers to Virginia Tech's 12.
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