Duke basketball continues hot stretch in blowout win over Syracuse

Duke basketball point guard Jordan Goldwire (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball point guard Jordan Goldwire (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

434. Final. 71. 445. 85

The Duke basketball team continued its hot stretch with a victory over Syracuse. 

In mid-February, the Duke basketball team and the Syracuse Orange are on the outside looking in of the NCAA Tournament, something you haven’t heard regarding both programs in the last two decades.

The last time both the Blue Devils and Orange missed the Big Dance was in 1982, and one team took a step closer to March Madness this season with a blowout victory.

Coming off its biggest win of the season against No. 7 Virginia on Saturday, Duke didn’t have much time to enjoy the victory or take a few hours to unwind as it was back on the floor Monday night. But you never would have known the Blue Devils might have been dealing with tired legs.

Duke hit 10 three-pointers in the first half en route to an 18-point halftime lead, which led to an 85-71 victory.

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The starting five of the Blue Devils (Jeremy Roach, DJ Steward, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, and Mark Williams) combined for 75 points as Duke was paced by Steward with 21 points in the victory.

Williams had a career night with a season-high 18 points and 11 rebounds coupled with two blocks on 9-of-11 shooting from the field.

Roach also had one of his best games as a Blue Devil with 14 points, five rebounds, and seven assists on 5-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from three-point range.

Duke had 27 assists on 34 made field goals and shot 53.1-percent from the field and 44.8-percent from downtown, the perfect recipe to defeat a zone defense.

Duke basketball looks like NCAA Tournament team

The biggest thing lacking on the resume of the Blue Devils was a signature win, and the team got it against the Cavaliers.

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Monday was another decisive victory over a fellow bubble team, and another opportunity awaits against Louisville on Saturday night, who is wobbling after being steamrolled out of Chapel Hill following a COVID-related pause.

Duke is trending in the right direction, and it certainly looks like an NCAA Tournament team. The ACC Tournament will only be a formality if the Blue Devils end the regular season on a seven-game winning streak with four of those games coming on the road.

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