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Hurricanes move on to face Notre Dame
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Sheldon McClellan scored 16 points and Miami beat Virginia Tech 59-49 on Wednesday night in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Davon Reed added 10 points and hit an important 3-pointer with about 5 minutes left that helped the sixth-seeded Hurricanes (21-11) avoid a loss that would have been catastrophic to their NCAA tournament hopes.
The Hurricanes will face No. 11 Notre Dame (26-5), the tournament's third seed, in the quarterfinals Thursday.
Adam Smith and Ahmed Hill each scored 10 points for the 14th-seeded Hokies (11-22), who gave the Hurricanes all they could handle. Miami - which twice this season beat Virginia Tech by at least 21 points - never led by double figures until the final minute.
Smith's 3 with 55.6 seconds left made it a two-possession game. McClellan followed with two free throws, Justin Bibbs turned it over for Virginia Tech and Manu Lecomte added two foul shots with 36.3 seconds left to put Miami up 58-49 and effectively seal Miami's third straight win.
This was one the Hurricanes - the very definition of a bubble team - could not afford to lose with their best win, a road victory over No. 2 Duke, offset by losses to lower-division teams Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.
Yet this one was very much in peril for them when Smith pulled the Hokies to 44-43 with his layup with 5 1/2 minutes left. Reed followed by swishing a 3 over Hill at the 5-minute mark, Lecomte hit two free throws and Deandre Bennett added a 3 to push the lead to 52-45 with just over 2 minutes left.
Virginia Tech took its only lead of the second half when Jalen Hudson's across-the-lane drive made it 38-37 with just under 9 minutes left.
Hudson, who scored a season-best 32 points in a victory over Wake Forest one day earlier, finished with five on 2-of-7 shooting.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies, who had a season-low four turnovers one day earlier against Wake Forest, had nearly twice as many (seven) in the first half alone.
Miami: The Hurricanes have won at least one ACC tournament game every year since 2009 and have not been upset by a lower-seeded team since then. The team to knock them off then? Virginia Tech.