Kyle Singler scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half and threw a long pass for a breakaway layup on an inbounds play in the final minute, one of several critical second-half plays for Singler that helped No. 7 Duke withstand a furious rally by host Virginia Tech, 72-65.
"It was kind of a football-football thing," Singler said of the pass that sent Greg Paulus, who is also a former quarterback, in for the basket that gave Duke a 68-63 lead with 33 seconds left.
Said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski: "You get a layup at that point, God Bless America."
The Blue Devils (24-5, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who saw the Hokies erase a 12-point deficit to pull even with six minutes left, won their fourth in a row and stayed a game behind ACC-leading North Carolina.
Virginia Tech, meantime, is still looking for at least one more victory to boost its tournament credentials, and the Hokies felt like they missed an opportunity after A.D. Vassallo shot them back into the game. He scored 26 points to lead the Hokies (17-11, 7-7) and accounted for all 15 in a 15-4 run that drew them even.
Gerald Henderson also scored 21 for the Blue Devils, 17 in the first half, and added six assists, and Jon Scheyer scored 16. The rest of the Blue Devils totaled 14 points.
No. 4 North Carolina 104, Georgia Tech 74:: Tyler Hansbrough scored 28 points and set the NCAA's career free-throw record in the Tar Heels' rout of the visiting Yellow Jackets. Hansbrough, who added 10 rebounds, made all eight of his foul shots to give him 907, surpassing Dickie Hemric's 905. "There's a lot of fouls involved," Hansbrough deadpanned. Danny Green added 23 points for North Carolina (25-3, 11-3). The ACC leaders bounced back from their overtime loss at Maryland a week earlier and used two huge runs to reach the 25-win mark for the third straight year. The Tar Heels took the lead for good during a 21-5 run midway through the first half that also put them up by double figures to stay. Lewis Clinch scored 22 points to lead last-place Georgia Tech (10-17, 1-13), which lost its seventh straight.
No. 13 Wake Forest 70, Virginia 60:: Jeff Teague had 12 points, including a big three-pointer late, to help the Demon Deacons (22-5, 9-5) beat the host Cavaliers (9-16, 3-11). Teague struggled most of the game but hit his only three after Virginia had cut Wake Forest's lead to 56-53 with just over two minutes left. The Demon Deacons, who had been awful from the free-throw line, hit their last nine foul shots to close out the win. Calvin Baker led Virginia with 13 points.
No. 23 Florida State 73, Clemson 66:: Toney Douglas scored 23 points and the host Seminoles (22-7, 9-5) held off a late Tigers rally, defeating Clemson (22-6, 8-6) to inch closer to their first NCAA tournament bid in 11 years. K.C. Rivers led Clemson with 17 points. Trevor Booker, the Tigers' leading scorer, was held to eight points but pulled down a game-best 13 rebounds. Florida State clinched just its second winning record in ACC play in the past 16 years.