WASHINGTON – A bloodied and broken nose was not about to stop Marshall Plumlee.
Plumlee had a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:14 left, then helped force a turnover, and 19th-ranked Duke overcame a second-half deficit against North Carolina State for the third time in three meetings as the reigning NCAA champion pulled out a 92-89 victory in the ACC Tournament's second round Wednesday.
"Marshall's been a great emotional leader for us all year long. And we know how tough he is. We know he battles down there in the post," said Grayson Allen, who had 19 points and six assists for the Blue Devils. "So to see him come in, and he's got blood dripping down his face, and he's still out there, yelling like a maniac — I mean, it fires the team up."
Duke (23-9) will face defending ACC tournament champion Notre Dame in the quarterfinals. The Fighting Irish beat the Blue Devils in last year's semifinals.
Wednesday's contest was a free-flowing, 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 elbow. There hadn't been an ACC Tournament regulation game with this many points since Duke topped Maryland 104-84 in the 1990 quarterfinals.
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. Eight players ended up in double-figures.
"We shot the heck out of the ball — and it's a good thing we did," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "It's the best we've played offensively in about three weeks."