The Duke Blue Devils beat the Virginia Cavaliers as they continued to move toward a top four spot in the conference.
Coming into this week the Duke Blue Devils were considered to be sliding into limbo. The team had lost some conference games along the way and bracketologists were talking about the Blue Devils as a bubble team. So Duke needed its 63-62 buzzer beater win over Virginia in the worst way. Of course that is if you bought into the Duke falling off a cliff story.
Duke was 7-4 in the conference and drifting further away from the top four seed that would give it a double bye. Virginia was the highest ranked team in the conference and looking to reestablish itself as a power after some questionable losses of their own. Their tough defense would surely grind and frustrate a young Duke team not used to that sort of thing, right?
Virginia has another quality. They don’t score a lot of points. If they run away from you, it is because of something they did on defense. In theory, you should never be out of a game with Virginia if you can depress their offense a little while they affect yours. Given the slow pace that the Cavs prefer to play at, the seven man rotation of Duke was never really in danger of wearing out.
More from Old North Banter
- Carolina Panthers: Secondary battles to watch in training camp 2020
- Carolina Panthers: 2020 training camp kicks off on Tuesday
- NC Colleges Provide Coronavirus Results from Athletic Departments
- Court alleges Zion’s Stepfather received $400k
- UNC Football gets Commitment from Top Cornerback
There was another element in this game that was more coincidence than strategy, but Virginia had not won at Cameron Indoor since the Clinton Administration. That streak continued as did Duke’s current four game win streak.
A Virginia game plan would probably have focused on shutting down Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram. With Ingram they failed as the Kinston freshman scored twenty-five. They had better luck with Allen, with the sophomore scoring no three point shots. Allen did get the last laugh as he made a final shot to win the game. Some saw a travel and others saw a blocking foul, but in the end Allen’s shot counted and the Blue Devils won.
So the Devils will likely be back in the rankings just in time for a visit to Chapel Hill to face the Tar Heels. North Carolina has looked more beatable over its last stretch of games than Duke has, so it should be a good test for both teams.