Duke vs. NC State score: Wolfpack pull off upset, enter projected NCAA Tournament bracket

A NC State team fighting to get back into the NCAA Tournament put a marquee win on its resume on Wednesday by throttling No. 6 Duke 88-66 at home. The loss ends a seven-game winning streak for the Blue Devils (22-4, 12-3 ACC) and returns Louisville to first place in the conference standings.

Markell Johnson led NC State with 28 points, which included a successful half court heave that gave the Wolfpack a 44-29 lead at the end of the first half. NC State (17-9, 8-7) extended its lead to 57-34 early in the second half before the Blue Devils staged a run. Duke cut the deficit to 61-50 with 11:18 remaining but went cold from there. 

The Blue Devils used 10 players but struggled to get meaningful offensive production from anyone except Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones, who combined for 44 of Duke’s points. Meanwhile, NC State hit 8 of 13 3-pointers just three days after making only 2 of 19 in a loss at Boston College. Johnson led the effort by making 5 of 6 attempts from deep. Devon Daniels added 25 points and D.J. Funderburk contributed 21 for the Wolfpack.

According to CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm, Duke falls from a No. 2 seed to a No. 3 seed after the loss while NC State jumps from the wrong side of the bubble to a projected spot in the field of 68 with the win. The Wolfpack improved to 5-3 in Quadrant 1 games with the victory. They have two more resume-building opportunities on their regular season schedule: hosting No. 8 Florida State on Saturday and playing at Duke on March 2.

The Blue Devils have relinquished first place in the ACC standings for the moment. But they do not play Florida State or Louisville in the season’s final weeks. The Cardinals are 13-3 in the ACC while Duke and Florida State are 12-3. Louisville and Florida State play on Monday in a game that could eliminate the loser from the three-team race to win the league.

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