Notre Dame, in just their second season in the ACC, will appear in their first ACC championship game. Bonzie Colson scored 17 points for the Fighting Irish, Demetrius Jackson added 15, and Jerian Grant had 13. The 3rd-seeded Irish shot 50 percent from the field, led by as many as 17, and beat Duke for the second time this season, 74-64.
The win spoils any hope of a Duke-UNC rematch in the ACC title game, as it will be Notre Dame against UNC Saturday night. Jahlil Okafor had 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting to lead the Blue Devils in the loss. Duke's 12-game winning streak came to an end, losing for the first time since January 28th against the same Notre Dame team.
Coach K's team pulled as close as 4 with 3 minutes remaining, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Later in the day, it was 2 free throws from Marcus Paige with 3.9 seconds remaining to help the North Carolina Tar Heels upset the Virginia Cavaliers 71-67. The 5th-seeded Tar Heels took down ranked teams on back-to-back days to advance to the final, after defeating 14th-ranked Louisville on Thursday.
Freshman Justin Jackson led the way for UNC with a season-high 22 points, as they led by as many as 13 points and never trailed in the second half.
Malcolm Brogdon did all he could to help the Cavs get back into the game, scoring 22 of his 25 points after halftime. Brogdon and returning Justin Anderson missed potential game-tying 3's, and North Carolina went 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the final 16 seconds to seal the game.
North Carolina finished shooting an impressive 55 percent against a tough Virginia defense. They are heading to their fourth ACC final in the last 5 years.
Virginia won the regular season and ACC tournament titles last season, the regular season title this season, but they have lost 2 of 3 heading into the tournament.
North Carolina will take on Notre Dame in the ACC championship game tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST. on ESPN.