No. 10 Miami survived an upset bid in the opening quarterfinal game and North Carolina State defeated Virginia, but the tournament took on an unexpected look in the first of the evening games when Maryland convincingly downed the Blue Devils.
Wells hit 9-of-13 from the field and all 10 of his free throws. Maryland (22-11) built an eight-point halftime lead and maintained its poise down the stretch to make a strong bid for an NCAA Tournament spot.
Duke will take a 27-5 record into the NCAA tourney, having also lost to Maryland on the Terrapins' home floor in mid-February. The Blue Devils climbed within five points with 45 seconds to go, but Maryland closed out the game with four free throws.
Maryland will face North Carolina in the semifinals following the Tar Heels' 83-62 whipping of Florida State.
Shane Larkin had five late points that helped Miami escape a challenge from Boston College for a 69-58 win.
Larkin contributed a 3-point shot and a breakaway layup in a spurt that the Hurricanes used to break a 55-55 tie with 3:01 to go.
The win was the 25th for Miami this season, a school record.
Miami saw an early lead wilt and Boston College led at the half 27-25. The Eagles were in front by five at one point but could never pull away.
The game stayed closed into the final 3 minutes, before Miami's Durand Scott hit two free throws and Larkin connected on a 3-pointer. Rion Brown added a jump shot and Kenny Kadji's free throw had the Hurricanes ahead 63-55.
Larkin ended up with 20 points, and also held Boston College's Olivier Hanlan -- who scored 41 points Thursday -- to 14 points. Kadji backed Larkin with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Patrick Heckmann scored 15 points to lead Boston College (16-17).
Scott Wood scored 23 points, T.J. Warren added 18 and C.J. Leslie 17 in guiding North Carolina State to a 75-56 win over Virginia (24-9).
The Wolfpack slowly pulled ahead through the first half with Wood hitting a 3-pointer that put North Carolina State up 22-12 and another for a 27-16 lead. Wood had three 3-pointers in an 84-second period that increased the lead to 41-25.
Virginia's scoring list was topped by Akil Mitchell's 19 points.
North Carolina cruised to its win over Florida State thanks in large part to the work of P.J. Hairston and Reggie Bullock, both of whom went 7-of-11 from the field. Hairston scored 21 points and Bullock had 17 and they combined to make seven 3-pointers.
The Tar Heels (23-9) shot 49 percent from the floor overall and forced 17 turnovers from the Seminoles.