Prior to Saturday's frustrating loss against Louisville, Duke had won four in a row, including a 66-65 victory over then number seven Virginia.
The Blue Devils have two regular season games left, both on the road. We all know about Saturday's matchup in Chapel Hill, but first comes a battle in Atlanta with fellow NCAA Tournament hopeful Georgia Tech.
Back on January 26, the Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets squared off inside Cameron, resulting in a 75-68 victory for Duke. DJ Steward led the way with 19 points, while Jalen Johnson (18), Matthew Hurt (17), and Jordan Goldwire (11) also finished in double figures. Johnson will obviously not be part of tonight's game.
Hurt will look to build on his 37 point outing against Louisville. The question is who else will help on the offensive end? The production has come from a variety of sources. Wendell Moore was the only other player in double figures against Louisville, while Mark Williams, DJ Steward, and Jeremy Roach all did so in the previous game against Syracuse.
Tonight's game has massive NCAA Tournament implications. Joe Lunardi currently has Georgia Tech as one of the last four in and Duke as one of the first four out. His notes for today mention that Duke would move into the field with a win and Georgia Tech would move out with a loss. Obviously, there is a good deal more basketball to be played before anything is set in stone, but both teams will be fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives tonight. It should make for a great atmosphere in McCamish Pavilion.
Tune into ACC Network at 8:00ET for all the action.
Duke: Hurt, Steward, Williams, Roach, Moore
Georgia Tech: Wright, Alvarado, Devoe, Usher, Moore
- Wendell Moore hits an early three, a good sign for the Blue Devils. 5-4 Duke, 3:00 in.
- Up and down game at the first media timeout. GT leads 8-5. Duke ball after the break.
- We've got a back and forth affair with each team holding multiple leads.
- Each team has hit two threes. Feels like one of those balanced games that will come down to the wire.
- Under-12:00 timeout at 10:56. Tech leads 16-12. Duke ball after the break.
- Jose Alvarado is yet to score for the Yellow Jackets, but yet they still lead.
- Bue Devils get the lead back for the first time in several minutes on a Matthew Hurt bucket. 21-20 Duke. 8:40 left before halftime.
- Georgia Tech plays an ole defense on the baseline allowing Wendell Moore an easy baseline bucket.
- Under-8:00 timeout at 8:00. Duke leads 23-20. GT ball after the break.
- With 7:00 left in the first half, Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore, and Mark Williams have scored all 23 Duke points.
- Officials reviewing a potential flagrant-1 on Wendell Moore. No call.
- The scoring has slowed way down as the half has worn on.
- With 3:55 left in the half, Jaemyn Brakefield becomes just the fourth Blue Devil to score.
- Under-4:00 timeout at 3:55. Duke leads 27-23 with a free throw coming for Brakefield after the break.
- Blue Devils doing a great job swarming to Moses Wright in the post, and he's not showing a willingness or ability to find an open man.
- Wendell Moore is having a great first half. 13 points on 6-8 shooting.
- Make that 16 on 7-9.
- GT hits a three at the buzzer and we head to the half with Duke up 34-31.
- A great sign for the Blue Devils: Jose Alvarado didn't score a single point in the first half. Need to keep that going in the second 20 minutes.
- Still only four Blue Devils have scored at the break: Wendell Moore (16), Matthew Hurt (10), Mark Williams (6), Jaemyn Brakefield (2).
- We're back and ready for the second half.
- Jeremy Roach gets into the scoring column with a 3.
- Blue Devils bailed out on a deep three as the shot clock expires. Alavarado fouls Steward, who makes all three free throws.
- Under-16:00 timeout at 15:47. We got a good one in Atlanta: Duke 44, Georgia Tech 42. Duke ball after the break.
- GT had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. Wendell Moore gets a steal and run-out dunk. 46-42 Blue Devils.
- Duke takes a timeout with 2 seconds left on the shot clock but can't get a good shot and wind up with a shot clock violation. But they are able to get a strip on Moses Wright on the other end, eventually leading to a Mark Williams dunk.
- Alvarado gets his first two points of the game to tie it up at 48.
- The entire second half has been played with the teams within four points of each other.
- Under 12:00 timeout at 11:38. Duke up 50-48. GT ball after the break.
- Alvarado scores his second bucket of the game to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the second half. He is noticably hampered by his leg injury.
- Moses Wright follows up with a dunk and Georgia Tech leads 54-50, prompting a Duke timeout.
- Matthew Hurt called for a (questionable) offensive foul. His fourth of the game so has to go to the bench with about 8:00 to go. GT responds with another bucket for a six-point lead, the biggest of the second half.
- Hurt checks back in and immediately picks up his fifth foul while trying to carve out position underneath. 6:00 left in the game. Blue Devils will have to come back without their best player.
- Georgia Tech goes on a 6-2 run after Hurt fouls out. Yellow Jackets up 8 at the under 4:00 timeout with 3:23 left. Duke ball after the break.
- Back-to-back buckets for Duke cuts the lead to three with 2:17 left. The second basket was a Joey Baker 3, the first time he's scored in a long time.
- Baker is fouled on a three on the next trip. Makes all three to tie game at 64. Blue Devils on an 8-0 run.
- Duke ball with 1:00 to go. Still tied.
- Not a great possession by the Blue Devils and Moore has to force a three as the shot clock expires. Georgia Tech rebounds. Timeout Yellow Jackets with 0:24 left (0:22 on the shot clock).
- Georgia Tech does literally nothing. Alvarado stands at the top of the key dribbling and eventually throws up a deep three, which misses everything. Duke ball with 0:5.7 left.
- Blue Devils get a great look at the buzzer but it bounces off the rim. Heading to overtime.
- Blue Devils will have to continue to survive with Hurt on the bench. Will they continue to sit in the zone? Or go back to man?
- Great start to OT for Blue Devils results in a Mark Williams dunk, plus the foul. He misses the free throw though.
- Moses Wright hits for GT. Tied back up at 66 with 4:00 to go.
- GT gets a stop and Alvarado scores on the other end. Another stop and an Usher bucket and the Yellow Jackets are up 4 with 3:05 left. Duke timeout.
- Down to 2:00, GT leads 72-68.
- A dunk for Moses Wright and a follow for Mark Williams. 74-70 Georgia Tech. 1:15 to go. 2 Yellow Jacket free throws.
- 1 of 2 for Georgia Tech. Duke ball with 1:15 to go, trailing by 5.
- Baker's three goes over the backboard. GT ball with 1:08.
- GT misses. Joey Baker misses another three and Goldwire misses putback. Yellow Jacket rebound.
- Wright makes 1 of 2 at the line and GT leads 76-70 with 0:35 left. DJ Steward misses a three and Moses Wright gets another rebound. Will head back to the line for 2 with 0:28 left. Unfortunately Mark Williams fouls out.
- Wright hits one of two and Goldwire buries a three. Alvarado free throws with 0:24 left. Makes both. 79-73.
- Georgia Tech turnover leads to a Steward three. Another GT turnover eventually leads to Tape free throws. Makes 1 of 2. 79-77 GT with 2.6 to go. Yellow Jackets are able to inbound the ball and get fouled. 2 free throws with 1.8 left. If Devoe makes both, the game is essentially over. He does and it is.
- Georgia Tech 81, Duke 77.
- NCAA Tournament hopes are really in doubt.