'Packed And Sent Home Early

The ACC Championship game won't feature Duke for the first time in a decade after NC State beat Duke in the opening round of the 2007 Tournament in Tampa.

The "un-Dukelike" season in Durham continued on Thursday night for Mike Krzyzewski's young team as the Blue Devils fell to NC State 85-80 in the Opening Round of the 2007 ACC Tournament.

Already in unfamiliar territory by playing on the tournament's opening day for the first time since 1995, Duke couldn't overcome the brilliance of the Wolfpack's Brandon Costner, nor the steady hand of senior Engin Astur.

Costner scored a career high 30 points, while Astur scored 21 points after halftime to help the Wolfpack force overtime before pulling away in those extra five minutes.

An evenly matched game throughout, the Wolfpack had a chance to win in regulation after being awarded the ball out of bounds with 3.3 seconds remaining, but a desperation three out of the corner didn't connect and Astur's follow was also off the mark. The extra period began with a three point play by Costner that would put NC State on top to stay.

Greg Paulus scored a team high 18 points, while Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson both added 17 in the losing effort. Nelson also had a team high nine rebounds.

Ultimately what did in the Devils was their defense, or lack thereof. NC State shot a sizzling 61% from the field led by center Ben McCauley's 7-of-8 performance from the field.

The loss is noteworthy for Duke on several levels. It's the first time in school history the program has failed to make the ACC quarterfinals. It is also the first time in more than a decade Duke has lost more ACC games than they've won, and the first time since 1995 the Blue Devils have lost double digit games.


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