A bloodied Marshall Plumlee's tiebreaking three-point play with 1:14 left helped 19th-ranked Duke overcome a second-half deficit against NC State for the third time in three meetings, and the reigning NCAA champion edged the Wolfpack 92-89 in the ACC Tournament's second round Wednesday.
It was a freeflowing, fast-paced, entertaining game with plenty of offense — and plenty of painful-looking collisions, including involving Plumlee's nose and, separately, N.C. State guard Anthony "Cat" Barber's right arm.
One measure of just how much these teams scored at will: Both had shooting percentages above 60 percent in the first half, which ended with the Wolfpack ahead 53-50. In all, there were 18 ties and 21 lead changes.
N.C. State already had played Duke tight twice this season. On Jan. 23, the Wolfpack led 43-36 at halftime at home before losing by 10. And in the rematch at Cameron Indoor Stadium two weeks later, Duke again trailed in the second half before winning by eight.
Duke (23-9) faces defending ACC tournament champion Notre Dame in the quarterfinals. The Fighting Irish beat the Blue Devils in last year's semifinals.
Freshmen Brandon Ingram and Luke Kennard scored 22 points apiece for Duke, while Grayson Allen added 19, and Plumlee contributed 17 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks — and the game's final points. Plumlee grabbed an offensive rebound, made the putback while being fouled, then added the free throw.
Barber then had a turnover and a missed half-court shot on the last two possessions for N.C. State (16-17). He led the Wolfpack with 29 points and seven assists, managing to keep his team in the game late despite getting hurt while diving to the court in a chase with Allen for a loose ball with a little under 15 minutes to go.
Barber was treated on the sideline and missed a minute of game action before returning with a white sleeve on his right arm.
He missed some free throws late, including after Allen was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul after grabbing at the jersey of the ACC's leading scorer on a fast break.
N.C. State: This season, 2-7 when scoring under 70 points — which clearly was not going to be an issue in this game. ... Won the 1987 ACC Tournament in Washington by beating Duke in the final. ... Barber came with a league-leading eight games of at least 30 points.
Duke: Came into the ACC Tournament having dropped three of its past five games, with losses against Louisville, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. ... Ingram led ACC freshmen in scoring (16.7 ppg), rebounding (6.8) and 3-point percentage (.400).