Duke has a chance to make history in the ACC Tournament. But the first that the Blue Devils can achieve Saturday in the tournament championship game is of the sort they’re not accustomed to making.
With a win Saturday against the winner of the Notre Dame-Florida State semifinal, Duke would become the first team to win the ACC title with four wins in four days. The No. 5 seed, Duke put itself to win its 20th ACC championship by erasing a 13-point deficit against No. 1 seed North Carolina to win 86-77 at the Barclays Center. (Duke’s 19 league titles are most in the ACC.)
The ACC has been a four-day affair going back to the days when it was a nine-team league and the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds faced each other in a play-in game, but only a legitimate possibility since the 2005 tournament, the league’s first in a 11-team format.
“(Saturday) is going to be another fight,” Duke forward Amile Jefferson said. “It’s going to be one where we need everybody to come ready to leave their hearts on the floor one more time in this arena and try to do something special .”
Two teams have won three games to reach the final, N.C. State as a No. 10 seed in 2007 and Georgia Tech in 2010 as a No. 7 seed. The Wolfpack lost to North Carolina and the Yellow Jackets to Duke.