Jordan Usher scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, including a game-clinching dunk created off a sterling play by Jose Alvarado, and Georgia Tech ended Miami’s run in the ACC tournament with a 70-66 win on Thursday.
Miami’s Kameron McGusty hit a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to get the Hurricanes (10-17) within two points. Following a Miami foul, Alvarado saved a poor inbounds pass in the backcourt as he flew out of bounds, passing it to teammate Bubba Parham. Parham returned the ball to Alvarado, who found Usher alone for the clinching dunk with 19 seconds left.
The Yellow Jackets (16-8), with seven straight wins, solidified their bid to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years and will take on top-seeded and No. 16-ranked Virginia in a Friday semifinal. The Cavaliers advanced with a last-second win over Syracuse.
Alvarado, the ACC defensive player of the year, and Michael Devoe finished with 13 points each with Devoe collecting seven assists. Alvarado sat out the final 3 1/2 minutes of the first half after he banged knees with Miami’s Isaiah Wong and was helped off the court in obvious pain. He returned to start the second half.
Moses Wright, the ACC player of the year averaging 18 points and eight rebounds a game, sat out eight minutes of the second half with four fouls, eventually picking up his fifth and leaving with just seven points for fourth-seeded Georgia Tech.
Miami, the 13th seed, won its first two games of the tournament and was ahead by four at halftime but an eight-minute spell without a field goal led to a four-point lead dissolving into a seven-point deficit in the second half. The 16-5 Yellow Jackets run included consecutive dunks by Usher to put Georgia Tech in front for good.
McGusty finished with 25 points and seven rebounds for Miami. Nysier Brooks added 19 points, just three in the second half, and Wong had 12.
The Hurricanes made 17 of 24 free throws to 7 of 12 for the Yellow Jackets but gave up 16 points off 18 turnovers.
Georgia Tech won an ACC tournament game for the first time since the opening round in 2016.