Georgia Tech fast out of the gate and able to handle N.C. State late in ACC semis at the Greensboro Coliseum

Posted by Andy Durham on March 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm under College | 5 Comments to Read

Georgia Tech 57
N.C. State 54


GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Georgia Tech took the difficult, windy route, but coach Paul Hewitt has his talent-laden team where many felt it should be: the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Just overlook all those maddening turnovers and blown leads.

Overcoming another near second-half meltdown, the Yellow Jackets ended NC State’s surprise run in this ACC tournament full of upsets with a 57-54 victory on Saturday in the semifinals.

With freshman Derrick Favors contributing 17 points and eight rebounds, fellow NBA prospect Gani Lawal posting a double-double and highly touted guard Iman Shumpert making another key defensive play late, the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (22-11) advanced to Sunday’s final against top-seeded and No. 4 Duke.

Despite his team coughing up a 10-point halftime lead and looking rattled against the press in the second half, Hewitt was smiling after being a target of criticism for what some argue is serial underachieving.

Georgia Tech had recently tumbled out of the rankings and entered the tournament with five losses in seven games.

“The fans have been great, that’s the one thing that has been consistent. There are other areas where some cheap shots have been taken,” Hewitt said. “When I walk through the airports and go out to dinner with my family, you would be really shocked at how this stuff has turned. Now everybody goes out of their way to say, ‘Hey coach, we respect what you’re doing.'”

They may be a little louder now after Georgia Tech halted 11th-seeded NC State’s dream of stealing the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

In a sloppy game where both teams showed the fatigue of playing for a third straight day, the Wolfpack made more mistakes down the stretch.

Tracy Smith had 15 points for NC State (19-15), which shot 31 percent. Javier Gonzalez had a chance to atone for a key turnover and intentional foul in the final 2 minutes, but he missed a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.

“It’s tough. We’re hurting right now,” Smith said. “Everybody’s disappointed. We thought we had the game in our hands.”

The Yellow Jackets reached the final for the first time since losing to Duke in 2005.

*****Duke versus Georgia Tech in Sunday’s final at the Greensboro Coliseum, which gets under way at 1pm…..*****

  • Amused said,

    NC State loses and these clowns finally give them a headline. Way to cover the news!

  • Pen vs. sword said,

    No kidding. State wins two games and not a whisper of news. There was an excuse when they beat Clemson but the win over FSU was big and still no news. And God knows we can’t report on the unc loss because the reporter was too disappointed. Andy, to be a full sports site you have to cover the biggest event in the city of Greensboro. Maybe Mike Ellis or Ogi could help you out when there is a big work load.

    Power of the pen is mightier than the sword is never more true.

  • Andy said,

    Who you calling a clown sucka?????

    I was at a Grimlsey-Southeast Guilford baseball game yesterday and then the Guiford College-Eastern Mennonite basketball game last night and then keeping up with ACC in-between….

    Who gives a crap about the ACC when you have Guilford College? Our city does not have an ACC team, but we opened our doors and gave them the keys to the city the last couple of days.

    What did we get in return?

    Guilford was a sell-out and that Coliiseum was a crock with all the sold seats and nobody showing up.

    Packed house for Guilford and the Coliseum was half-full, again this site was on “The Scene” at the sell-out….

    I know the sports and that is why they call me, The Only Game in Town……..

    I wrote the book and now I’ll be wiping my tail with the book for the next 15 years daddy…….

    Clowns, give me a break sucka!!!!!!!! You have arrived at the circus and it’s not leaving town…..

  • lucky said,

    Andy, ACC brings a bunch of money to this town. And other than the Wyndham, it’s the only major sporting event we have. Fortunately we get the ACC baseball tourney this year which I encourage everyone to attend. It will brings more fans than you think and is a ton of fun. Greensboro is the heart of ACC country with 4 schools within 1 1/2 hours max. We’re lucky to be a part of it.

    BTW, who and where the heck is Eastern Mennonite?

  • Andy said,

    Eastern Mennonite is located near Harrisonburg, Virginia…Close to James Madison and Bridgewater is in that same general area.

    Guilford College as Norman Dale said in Hoosiers is our team. This is your hometown team and they are going for the National Championship….

    That NAT-IONAL not NIT-ional Championship….

    Let’s support the Quakers, the ACC guys are fakers, do I have any takers??????

    Guilford College Quaker people it is time to step up and be heard from. Now is the National Championship we are talking about fellas….You need to sound off and not wait to react like you did back in 1775, this means war and this is the one you want to win….This is the one where they cut down the nets, so lift up your basketball bayonets and CHARGE, but don’t do that when you have the ball on offense….