ACC Tournament 2019: Quarterfinals Scores, Updated Bracket, Semifinal Schedule

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

Virginia's Jack Salt (33) hangs from the rim after a dunk against North Carolina State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 14, 2019. Salt was called for a technical foul on the play. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The field at the ACC tournament will pare down to four Thursday, as a quartet of games is on the schedule in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zion Williamson is slated to make his much-anticipated return after missing most of the last six games with a knee injury. Should Williamson and Duke advance, the Player of the Year candidate could finally fully participate in the Blue Devils' rivalry with North Carolina after leaving less than a minute into their first matchup.

Top-seeded Virginia was also looking to further solidify its status as a top seed for the selection committee Sunday.

Here's a look at how things played out.

           

Thursday's Scores

Virginia 76, North Carolina State 56

Florida State 65, Virginia Tech 63

North Carolina 83, Louisville 70

Duke 84, Syracuse 72

          

Friday's Schedule

Virginia vs. Florida State, 7 p.m. ET

North Carolina vs. Duke, 9 p.m. ET

      

Virginia 76, NC State 56

Kyle Guy scored a game-high 29 points, and Jack Salt added 18 points as Virginia overcame a shaky first half to earn a 76-56 win over NC State in their quarterfinals matchup.

Virginia trailed 29-27 at halftime after a rocky start from the field, and NC State led 36-35 following a DJ Funderburk layup with 15:25 remaining. The Cavaliers went on a 14-1 run from there and never looked back. Guy and De'Andre Hunter accounted for 12 of those points.

Looking to atone for last season's embarrassing first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, Virginia looks the part of a national title contender. The Cavaliers' only two regular-season losses were to Duke, and they will get a chance to avoid a season sweep if both teams make it to the conference championship game.

The winner of Thursday's game between Florida State and Virginia Tech awaits. Virginia swept its regular-season series with its in-state rival by 28 points, and the Cavaliers defeated Florida State by 13 points in their lone matchup.

Virginia's second-half performance was a promising sign given the understandable March yips returning players could have felt. The Cavaliers will once again enter the dance as a No. 1 seed, and it's possible they lock up the top overall seed if they get past Florida State.

   

Florida State 65, Virginia Tech 63

Terance Mann hit an off-balance jumper with 1.8 seconds remaining, giving Florida State a 65-63 overtime win over Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech's Nickeil Alexander-Walker missed a game-winner as time expired in a hard-fought defensive slugfest.

The Seminoles won despite shooting just 38.6 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 17 times. Freshman Devin Vassell led the way with 14 points in 16 minutes, hitting a game-tying three with 4.5 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.

No starter put up more than Mann's 10 points. 

"That's just how our team is," Mann told reporters. "Whoever feels comfortable with the position they're in, they're going to do it. And we all have full faith in here in everybody to do so."

Alexander-Walker, Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Ahmed Hill combined for 54 of the Hokies' 63 points. Alexander-Walker put up a game-high 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. 

Virginia Tech's remaining players shot 4-of-14 from the floor. 

Florida State will move on to play top-seeded Virginia. 

North Carolina 83, Louisville 70

Luke Maye and Coby White each had 19 points, leading North Carolina to an 83-70 victory over Louisville in their quarterfinals matchup.

The Tar Heels led or were tied for the final 35 minutes of the game, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor to set up a potential matchup with rival Duke. Cameron Johnson (14 points) and Garrison Brooks (11 points) were also in double figures.

North Carolina avoiding an upset could lock the Heels into top-seed status, though advancing to the championship game would seal the deal. A third win over Duke would also continue moving UNC up on the overall seed line.

The Heels' win over Louisville gave them a 2-1 victory in the season series. The Cardinals handed Roy Williams his worst home loss as North Carolina's coach in January, an 83-62 bludgeoning that ultimately helped turn the season around.

North Carolina has won 15 of its last 16 games since that loss. The Tar Heels will play Duke.

          

Duke 84, Syracuse 72

Williamson provided a resounding answer to any lingering questions about his health heading into the postseason.

The freshman sensation finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and five steals behind 13-of-13 shooting from the field in Duke’s 84-72 victory over Syracuse. The only thing he didn’t do was hit free throws (2-of-9), but he provided the head-turning dunks and effective drives to the baskets college basketball fans grew accustomed to seeing throughout the regular season.

He wasn’t the only freshman to play well in the win, as RJ Barrett added 23 points and six boards as the secondary scorer and Tre Jones directed the show at point guard with 15 points and eight assists.

Still, it was Williamson’s performance that gives the Blue Devils national championship hopes moving forward after the comfortable win:

Frank Howard did what he could for the Orange with 28 points behind four three-pointers, but he and Buddy Boeheim (15 points) didn’t have enough help to defeat the loaded Blue Devils.

Attention now turns to Friday’s showdown between Duke and North Carolina. Williamson’s injury came in the opening minute of their Feb. 20 game, and he wasn’t available in the rematch either. The Tar Heels won both by a combined 25 points, but the third game figures to be a different story with the presumed No. 1 pick back and healthy.

The winner will make quite the statement with Nos. 1 seeds for the Big Dance hanging in the balance.

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