Duke basketball defeats two opponents at Madison Square Garden

Duke basketball (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team had to defeat two opponents in its season opener. 

As if playing the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats (0-1) in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in the regular season opener was not difficult enough for the Duke basketball team, the Blue Devils (1-0) had to take down another opponent as well.

In the midst of No. 9 Duke’s 79-71 win over Kentucky, the Blue Devils had a handful of players exit the game at some point due to cramping, most notably Paolo Banchero and Wendell Moore.

Both players were able to return to the game, but Banchero had to be taken to the locker room for extra treatment in the second half.

Nonetheless, Duke toppled all that was in its way on Tuesday night at The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Banchero and Trevor Keels introduced themselves as one of the best duos in the country, combining for 47 points in the victory.

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Keels led the way on both ends of the floor with 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting and was too strong and physical on the offensive end for the Wildcats to stop.

The Virginia native was also a stalwart on defense, limiting TyTy Washington to just nine points on 3-of-14 shooting.

Paolo Banchero had the worst of the cramping issues for the Blue Devils, but nothing could slow him down as he posted 22 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes on 7-of-11 shooting.

Moore played one of the best games of his Duke career with 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 6-of-10 shooting.

Duke basketball makes light of cramping issues following victory

Everything becomes a little bit funnier when you win the basketball game, and the Blue Devils poked fun at their hydration issues late Tuesday night following their victory on Twitter.

Perhaps the trio of Banchero, Keels, and Moore was given an extra bottle of water instead of an extra slice of pizza on the flight back from New York to Durham so that the Blue Devils do not run into this same problem with two games in two days this weekend.

The victories over cramping and Kentucky only count as one victory in the record books, but a loss against the cramps could have led to a loss against the Wildcats, which would have made for an unpleasant Wednesday morning in Blue Devil world.

Duke will have its home opener on Friday night against Army in the Duke Veteran’s Day Showcase and follow that up with a matchup against Campbell on Saturday night.

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