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DUKE SLIPS PAST PESKY MARYLAND; 'JACKETS WIN

Christian Laettner scored 33 points as top-ranked Duke began its bid for its first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title in four years Friday with a 94-87 victory over stubborn Maryland.

The Blue Devils (26-2), who haven't won the ACC tournament crown since 1988 and who lost last season's championship game to North Carolina, play Georgia Tech (21-10) on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets defeated Virginia 68-56 in the first quarterfinal game.Brian Davis scored 17 points for the Blue Devils, who have won their last five games. Bobby Hurley added 16 points and tied the single-game tournament record with 13 assists.

At the start, Maryland showed little sign of fatigue as the survivor of Thursday night's elimination game and ran up an early 10-2 lead. That edge evaporated as Duke went on a 12-1 run and twice established 10-point leads.

Thomas Hill scored 12 points for the Blue Devils.

Walt Williams and Evers Burns scored 25 apiece for the Terrapins (14-15), who because of NCAA probation cannot advance beyond the league tourney. Kevin McLinton had 17 and Vince Broadnax scored 12 for Maryland.

Georgia Tech 68, Virginia 56

Travis Best was Georgia Tech's offensive spark in the first half and Matt Geiger was a defensive force inside as the Yellow Jackets beat Virginia in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

The fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (21-10) defeated the Cavaliers for the sixth straight time, including three in a row this season.

Georgia Tech held Virginia forward Bryant Stith, the ACC's fourth best career scorer, to 12 points, including five in the second half on 4-for-22 shooting. Stith came into the game hitting 44 of 110 shots (40 percent) in seven previous tourney contests, well below his career average of 49 percent.

No. 18 Florida St. 93,

North. Carolina St. 80

Rodney Dobard sparked a second-half rally as No. 18 Florida State showed no ill effects from a two-week layoff, racing past North Carolina State in its first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game.

A switch in Florida State's scheduling brought on by its move from the Metro Conference to the ACC forced the two-week layoff. But the second-seeded Seminoles (20-8) never missed a beat, pressing the Wolfpack and playing their opportunistic, fast-breaking brand of basketball while shooting 70 percent in the second half.

The Seminoles, which swept four ACC teams this season - including No. 7 seed N.C. State (12-18) - led by three points at halftime and slowly built the margin to 11 points before applying the final blow to the Wolfpack midway through the period.

No. 20 N. Carolina 80,

Wake Forest 65

Hubert Davis scored 23 points and George Lynch sparked 20th-ranked North Carolina's offense in the second half for a victory over Wake Forest in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

North Carolina (20-8) got its 20th victory for the 22nd consecutive season, and in the process completed a season sweep of the Demon Deacons. The Tar Heels advanced to Saturday's semifinals to play No. 18 Florida State, 93-80 winners over North Carolina State in the quarterfinals.