GREENSBORO, N.C. — The first round of the 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament tipped off Tuesday afternoon with a triple-header, beginning with the 13th seeded Miami Hurricanes and the 12th seeded Pittsburgh Panthers. Miami was able to overcome the Panthers 79-73 in a game that came down to the wire. The Hurricanes were carried by a late push from senior center Nysier Brooks. Brooks’ defensive efforts and three-point play gave Miami a six-point lead in the final minute. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong scored a team-high 20 points to carry his team to the second round. Miami will advance to play the 5th seeded Clemson Tigers Wednesday at 2:00 pm. The winner between Miami and Clemson will face off against the 4th seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Tech has regular-season victories over both Clemson and Miami.
“Well, I’m a great believer in numbers, and the numbers today were very indicative of the terrific win we had,” Miami Hurricanes Head Coach Jim Larrañaga declared. “We’re excited with the victory and looking forward to playing in the next round tomorrow.
The 10th seeded Duke Blue Devils defeated 15th Boston College 86-51 in the second game of the first round. Duke freshman guard DJ Steward started the game off hot for the Blue Devils. He was guarded primarily by the Golden Eagles DeMarr Langford and got the best of the matchup. Steward shot 50% from the field and finished the day with 17 points and four assists.
Duke shot 46.9% from three-point range as a team and also had an easy time getting down low as well. The Devils big men Mathew Hurt and Mark Willams went to work under the basket and combined for 21 points. Center James Karnik had a tough time defending the lane for Boston College. Boston College also did a poor job taking care of the ball and committed 20 turnovers as a result. The Eagles couldn’t make anything work today and shot 6.7% from the three in the loss. Duke will advance to play 7th seed Louisville Cardinals tomorrow at 6:30 pm.
“They’ve been good kids. I just hope we can keep it going against Louisville tomorrow,” Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I’m glad it’s an evening game where we get a little bit of a chance to prepare, get our guys some fluids, get them therapy tonight and then see what happens.”
The 11th seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the 14th Wake Forest Demon Deacons 80-77 to conclude the first round of play. The Fighting Irish went on a 16-0 run early in the second half to overcome a 14-point deficit. Trey Wertz drained a buzzer-beating three to punch the Irish’s ticket to the next round. Notre Dame will advance to play No. 6 North Carolina at 9:00 pm Wednesday.
“Well, I’m extremely proud of our group because we took a big punch early,” Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey exclaimed. “It’s a great win for us, no matter who you play.”