N.C. State 79, Virginia 71

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Gavin Grant scored nine of his 20 points in the final two minutes and North Carolina State rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to pull off its second straight upset in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, a 79-71 victory over Virginia on Friday night.

A night after ending Duke’s reign as tourney champions, the 10th-seeded Wolfpack (17-14) rode Grant and Brandon Costner into the semifinals by shooting 74 percent and outscoring the second-seeded Cavaliers (20-10) 53-31 in the second half.

Costner finished with 23 after delivering a career-high 30 in his team’s 85-80 overtime victory over seventh-seeded Duke. Virginia was the No. 2 seed after tying North Carolina for the league’s best regular-season record.

Grant began the Wolfpack’s comeback with a layup in the opening minute of the second half. He made a 3-pointer to finish a 31-12 run that turned their double-digit deficit into a 57-52 lead, then took over after an offensive foul on Mamadi Diane denied Virginia a basket that would have made it 68-all with 1:55 remaining.

The 6-foot-7 junior’s layup gave N.C. State some breathing room, then he made a long 3-pointer to make it 73-66. He scored his team’s next four points from the foul line before Costner sank two free throws to put the finishing touch on the victory.

Sean Singletary led Virginia with 23 points, however he only had seven in the second half. J.R. Reynolds missed 8 of his first 9 shots and finished 3-of-15 for 11 points, while Diane added 10 for the Cavaliers.

N.C. State shot 33 percent in the opening half and hardly resembled the team that bounced Duke from the tournament. The Wolfpack stormed back by making 17 of 23 shots after halftime, with Grant and Costner getting offensive help from Engin Atsur and Ben McCauley.

McCauley finished with 12 points and Atsur had 10.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 N.C. State
B. Costner B. Costner
6-13,  22 Pts
6 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Virginia
S. Singletary S. Singletary
6-16,  23 Pts
5 Rebs, 3 Assists

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Friday, Mar 9