AllNCAA Sports

2024 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals Recap (3-14-24)

By: Joe Dillard Jr.

All Photo Credit: Andy Hancock/ACC 

Game 8 

North Carolina plays Florida State in the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals in Washington, DC, Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Andy Hancock/ACC)

In the first quarterfinal game of the day, #1 North Carolina faced #9 Florida State and took the game to Greensboro as the Capital One Arena was filled with a sea of sky, or let them call it “Carolina” blue. The regular season champions fanatics travel well, to say the least. In the beginning, Florida State went blow for blow with the Tarheels in the first 15 minutes pushing the game to a competitive one-possession lead up until Harrison Ingram’s tip-in, which was the theme of the half gave Carolina a 28-23 lead. The Tarheels extended the lead dominating the half in many phases from rebounding which was 23-8, and free throws which Carolina went 11-for-12, and the Seminoles went 3-for-3. The Tarheels led after half 46-30. The Tarheels hit the efficient 50-40-90 line which is field goals, three-pointers, and free throw percentages. Armando Bacot led the way with 12 points with 7 rebounds. In the second half, more of the same happened as the Tarheels extended the lead to 20 points and continued to impose their will on the boards winning the margin 49-24 as Harrison Ingram and Bacot had 10 each. R.J. Davis led the way with 18 points as Bacot and Cormick Ryan each had 14 points. The Tarheels advance to the semi-final round with a 92-67 victory over Florida State and will face either #4 Pittsburgh or #5 Wake Forest who will face off in the second quarterfinal game of the day. 

Game 9 

Pitt plays Wake Forest in the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals in Washington, DC, Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Andy Hancock/ACC)

In the second game of the quarterfinal round the #4 Pittsburgh Panthers took on the #5 Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Panthers came out firing on all cylinders as they jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first half catching Wake in what would look like “sleep mode” as they just didn’t get after 50/50 balls and were all in the paint having their way. After Pitt won the first half 38-26, it would be Wake Forest coming out with passion and looking to advance realizing you could be going home. After a long scoring drought by the Panthers, Wake found themselves within 4, 63-to-59 with 5:21 left to play. Pitt managed to put the ball in the hole enough as they continued to score led by Ishamael Leggett who led all scorers with 28 points and had 5 steals and 6 rebounds to go with a great scoring outing. Blake Henson also put up 20 and had 5 rebounds and 2 blocks to lead the Panthers to an 81-69 victory and advance to play the #1 North Carolina Tarheels in the semifinal on Friday at 7 pm. Cameron Hildreth of Wake Forest had 23 points and will hope they are selected on selection Sunday for a chance to play in the NCAA tournament. Pittsburgh will be looking to avenge their loss against Carolina earlier in the season 70-57 as the winner will earn the right to play for the ACC Tournament title.

Game 10 

Sloppy start with turnovers and that might have been the time for NC State to jump out on Duke however after the first three minutes Duke hit two free throws but the Wolfpack scored back-to-back buckets to get the early 5-2 lead.  Finally, with teams settling in, the score remained in the wolfpack’s favor but both teams were scoring in the paint enforcing their will on the defense.  At the 11:48 mark, N.C. State held the slight advantage of pounding the ball inside and Duke shooting just 3-for-12 was not as efficient as they would have liked to start.  Both teams had turned the ball over a total of 9 times thus giving the Wolfpack a 7-point advantage 15-8 after a D.J. Burns and one.  Duke would battle to get the game closer to a 3-point deficit at the half 35-32.  At the beginning of the second half, the Wolfpack stretched the lead back out to 9 points, but it never got past double digits. However, this was too much of a deficit for Duke to overcome.  With 1:24 left it was 71-64 and Duke fought hard and with the help of the Wolfpack brought the game within 2 points at 71-69.  From turnovers to a missed dunk and free throws allowed Duke to have a chance to take the lead however on a failed attempt State hit 3 free throws to upset the #2 seed Duke Bluedevils and will advance to face the winner of the #3 Virginia versus #11 Boston College on Friday at 9:30 pm 

Game 11

Virginia plays Boston College in the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals in Washington, DC, Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Andy Hancock/ACC)

The last quarterfinal game of the night was possibly the best game of the tournament as #3 Virginia took on a very hot #11 Boston College and right off the bat Boston College went up 11-4. Tradition says that a double-digit lead in a game involving UVA would already be a foregone conclusion. In this case, UVA struggled to score and found themselves down 18-8 in the first 8 minutes of the game.  After the TV timeout, UVA came out on a 7-0 run to get back in the game and would battle into the half but trailed by 6 35-to-29.  Taine Murray hit a three-pointer assisted by Reese Beekman to tie the game at 37 with 17:45 to play. After back-and-forth baskets by both teams, UVA gets their first lead of the game halfway into the second half.  With 2:55 left to play Iassac McNealy hit two free throws to tie the game again for the second time and for 2 minutes of that time left the score stayed the same at 55-55. After a missed three-pointer by Boston College, Jacob Groves drew a foul with 30 seconds left to hit both free throws giving UVA a two-point lead.  However, as regulation expires, Mason Madsen hits the game-tying jumper to send the game into the first overtime of the ACC tourney.  In overtime, UVA came out like Boston College did and that was very important in overtime as that 6-0 run sealed the deal and allowed Virginia to escape with the victory 66-60.  UVA will advance to play North Carolina State for the right to square off for the tournament title. The nightcap will start at 9:30 pm as it will be the second of the league doubleheader for the semi-finals.