Duke going for history times two in ACC tournament final

No No. 5 seed has won a title in the 62-year history of the tournament. And since the event expanded for the first time in 1992, no team has ever won the title by having to win four games in four days

Brad Penner—USA Today Sports
Mar 10

BROOKLYN — Duke already has the most ACC tournament titles to its credit with 19, but the fifth-seeded Blue Devils have a chance to make two more bits of history when they take on No. 3 Notre Dame in this year’s championship game tonight at Barclays Center.

No No. 5 seed has ever cut down the nets in the 62 previous tournament. And since the event expanded for the first time with the dreaded “Les Robinson Invitational” in 1992, no team has ever won the title by having to win four games in four days.

After beating Clemson in the second round on Wednesday, No. 2 Florida State on Thursday and top-seeded North Carolina in Saturday’s semifinal, coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team has a chance to accomplish both feats.

Three previous teams have gotten to the final in their fourth game before running out of gas on the final day. Krzyzewski said Saturday he’s confident his team has the stamina to avoid a similar burnout in its bid for history.

“We’ve cut down on practice time and physical stuff and they want to win,” Krzyzewski said. “We have good athletes, so they respond well and we’ll see (tonight). That’s four in a row and we’ll play (a team that) will be really good.”

Here’s a look at the other teams that have tried and failed where the Blue Devils hope to succeed:

FOUR GAMES IN FOUR DAYS

1997 — No. 8 NC State (beat No. 9 Georgia Tech 60-40, beat No. 1 Duke 66-60, beat No. 5 Maryland 65-58, lost to No. 3 North Carolina 64-54 in Greensboro)

2007 — No. 10 NC State (beat No. 7 Duke 85-80 in overtime, beat No. 2 Virginia 79-71, beat No. 3 Virginia Tech 72-64, lost to No. 1 UNC 89-80 in St. Petersburg)

2010 — No. 7 Georgia Tech (beat No. 10 UNC 62-56, beat No. 2 Maryland 69-64, beat No. 11 NC State 57-54, lost to No. 1 Duke 65-61 in Greensboro)

No. 5 SEEDS IN THE FINAL

1978 — Wake Forest (lost to No. 2 Duke 85-77)

1990 — Virginia (lost to No. 3 Georgia Tech 70-61)

2005 — Georgia Tech (lost to No. 3 Duke 69-64)

2015 — North Carolina (lost to No. 3 Notre Dame 90-82)