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Duke 77, Virginia Tech 63: Hokies Bedeviled by Duke Defense

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Once again, Virginia Tech star guard Malcolm Delaney was harassed by Duke's Nolan Smith into a poor shooting day. But unlike the Hokies' upset of the Devils on Feb. 26, Delaney didn't get much help and Duke ended Virginia Tech's run in the ACC Tournament.

Now the Hokies are forced to wait for the Selection Show at 6 p.m. EDT Sunday on CBS to learn whether or not they'll make the NCAA Tournament.

Delaney, who was 4-for-15 from the floor in his first game against Duke, was 4-for-14 Saturday in Greensboro, NC. A 10-for-10 day at the free throw line helped the senior score a team-high 19 points. However, Delaney struggled with his shot along with the rest of the team as the Hokes shot 36.8 percent from the floor.

Jeff Allen had the toughest day of any of the Hokies, going 1-for-7 with two points, seven rebounds, four turnovers and fouling out with 6:28 to play. It was a frustrating day overall for the Tech offense, which was held to three assists on 21 made field goals compared to 18 turnovers.

The Hokies were able to keep up with the Devils for most of the first half, but Duke upped its lead to 11 by half, thanks in part to Tech's best defender, Terrell Bell, getting into foul trouble around the under-eight time out. In the second half, Duke kept the Hokies at arm's length on its way to a 14-point win.

While Tech failed to nearly guarantee an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament with a second win over Duke, it should be in good shape going into Selection Sunday. Unfortunately, Tech will probably he heading to Dayton to play in the first round of the tournament. That would mean a fourth game in six or seven days depending on if they play on Tuesday or Wednesday. That will be tough for a team that's down to seven scholarship players.

Next on Virginia Tech's basketball schedule: Hopefully the NCAA Tournament.

Check Duke blog Duke Basketball Report for the Blue Devil POV.