Duke's 87-71 win over Maryland in an ACC quarterfinal Friday night was impressive, especially considering Duke lost point guard Nolan Smith due to a toe injury (his second toe, to be exact) with a 65-60 lead and 6:48 to go.
-- Duke played very inspired basketball. Without Smith, the 2011 ACC player of the year, Duke still outscored Maryland, 22-11, in the final minutes.
-- Charlotte's Seth Curry (11 points, 3 assists) filled in ably at point guard for Smith.
-- Kyle Singler broke out of his shooting slump with a flourish, scoring 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Singler said he still didn't think he shot that well, noting he was 0-for-4 on threes.
-- The Plumlee brothers had 20-20 vision Friday, combining for exactly 20 points and 20 rebounds between them. Their rebounding in particular was a huge reason why Duke won.
-- Coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game he won't know Smith's availability for Saturday's game until shortly before gametime, but that he hoped Smith would at least be available for the NCAA tournament given that it was his second toe that was injured (big-toe injuries are considered to be more serious).
This means both Duke and UNC are into the semifinals of the ACC tournament. If they both win Saturday, we'll get the first Duke-UNC ACC tournament final since 2001.
Weird, huh? The two schools have won every ACC tourney since 1997 except one between them (Maryland, 2004) and yet they haven't met in 10 years in the final.
11 months ago