I guarantee you that if you would’ve approached anybody with the slightest idea about college basketball before 7pm today saying that Duke would defeat Virginia in Charlottesville by shooting 61.9% from beyond the arc while being generally, while not completely, controlled in the paint, they probably would’ve said that you’re crazy. That’s the literally opposite of every other game. But it happened.
Duke pulled out the victory to complete a sweep of the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena, 81-71. RJ Barrett had 26 points, Zion Williamson had 18, Cam Reddish had 17, and Tre Jones had 15 to lead the Blue Devils to victory. ESPN called it “[the] latest installment of ‘Freshmen Gone Wild'”, as the freshmen scored over 91% of the points that Duke scored in total (81). Oh, and by the way, yes, we did score 81. The Virginia game plan was visible from the start: suffocate the lane, force outside shots. It went perfectly, except for one little hitch: we couldn’t miss if we tried. RJ Barrett started it off with a really well placed three-pointer, Zion got a steal and a dunk, RJ sunk one from deep again and you could tell the direction that this one was going in.
UVA fought hard but every single time that they came within scratching distance, somebody made a big play that put out the fire. Duke had a consistent 10-to-12 point lead throughout the whole game except for the end of the first half when UVA cut it to 4, but other than that it was almost always a lead of eight or more. It wasn’t complete dominance, but it was in a way.
The two games that UVA has played against Duke have been night and day from their other opponents. In other games, opponents have averaged around 30% shooting field goals average and around 50 points. Duke has averaged around 50% and over 75 points. We have it figured out for the ‘Hoos, and Virginia cannot say the same about us.
You are likely to already have known about this play: Zion Williamson, despite a “quiet” night (not really, but he didn’t score 30), is all over SportsCenter again with this mind-boggling block.
How. The. Heck. Do. You. Do. That.
Especially when you’re 280 pounds!
Bleed blue. One down, but still, we have Louisville on Tuesday, State on Saturday, then the blue bloods meet in Cameron.