Duke basketball: 5 major takeaways from Blue Devils’ massive victory

Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was a statement victory for the Duke basketball program on Friday night in Las Vegas. 

The lights were bright on The Strip in Las Vegas on Friday night, and it was the Duke basketball team who emerged victorious in the highly anticipated showdown between the No. 5 Blue Devils (7-0) and No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (6-1), 84-81.

The game was played at such a pace and intensity that it felt like it was a Final Four or National Championship level game, and it would not be surprising if these two programs met again in late March or early April.

Duke confirmed its status as a legitimate championship contender while Gonzaga continued its strong play over highly ranked teams after it already downed No. 5 Texas and No. 2 UCLA this season in dominant fashion.

Entering Friday night there were several questions surrounding the Blue Devils, and there are still questions about the team. But Duke answered many of the doubts surrounding this year’s squad and how it would perform against the best college basketball has to offer.

The game broke a record for attendance at a college basketball game in Las Vegas as the T-Mobile Arena, which has already seen its fair share of heavyweight fights, was sold out for the highly anticipated showdown.

Duke basketball learned a lot about itself

Win, lose, or draw, a lot was going to be learned about this Duke team against Gonzaga as it has one more high-profile game on its schedule before a two-week break and ACC play beginning at the end of December.

Mike Krzyzewski gave the fans a show in his final game in Las Vegas as he will look for another signature victory against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday night in Columbus.

Here are five major takeaways from Duke’s massive victory.