ACC CHAMPS: Duke Takes Down FSU, 73-63

We now know that at least one banner will hang in the rafters of Cameron Indoor attributed to the success of the 2018-19 Blue Devils: Duke took down the gritty Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship, 73-63, behind a triple scoring attack from Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Tre Jones. The tournament was something of redemption for the Blue Devils: having been thwarted by injuries during the regular season, the win against UNC was reprisal for having been swept in the regular season without Zion Williamson. But even more so, they were to prove that not only would Zion return, he would be as magnificent as prior to his injury.

The game itself wasn’t quite as thrilling as the first game, though it was fun: from alley-oop dunks to tomahawks, dunks were abound and epic plays kept Duke solidly ahead, especially in the second half. Florida State made a run towards the end to cut the lead, but Tre Jones silenced it by taking over the game. Tre had one of his best games all year, with 13 of his career-high 18 total points coming in a dominant second half. Scoring was never really a priority for the freshman as he provides elite on-ball pressure and excellent ball distribution, but he torched the lane, somewhat reminiscent of his older brother Tyus in this game. The Stones Jones brothers have a knack for big games like this.

Additionally, RJ Barrett had 17, Zion Williamson had 21, and Cam Reddish had 11. The four freshman combined for more than 90% of the overall scoring.

Zion Williamson also set another record. He passed Art Heyman for the most points scored in the ACC Tournament in one season (3 games). Not much you can say there other than that he has certainly left his mark on the ACC this season.

With the tournament crown, Duke is an automatic bid for the 2019 NCAA Tournament, though it wasn’t unsure in the first place. Bracketology is an inexact science but it appears that Duke has a good shot at the #1 overall seed. However, the seed isn’t important: it’s more about the game-by-game in this tournament. Bleed blue.

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