Duke basketball clinches top seed in ACC Tournament with beatdown

Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was another road beatdown for the Duke basketball team on Tuesday night. 

It was only a matchup against the lowly Pittsburgh Panthers on Tuesday night for the Duke basketball team, but there was a lot on the line.

A victory would secure the top seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament and close out the road career of Mike Krzyzewski in style.

Both goals were achieved.

No. 4 Duke (26-4, 16-3 ACC) blasted Pittsburgh (11-19, 6-13 ACCC), 86-56, and it wasn’t that close.

The hot shooting the Blue Devils showed against Syracuse on Saturday night carried over to Tuesday as the team shot 50.0-percent from downtown, led by a career-high 27 points from Trevor Keels on 10-of-15 shooting, 5-of-8 from 3-point range.

Paolo Banchero was a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Four of the five starters for Duke reached double figures. As for the other, Mark Williams struggled to make an impact with just two points and two rebounds.

The victory clinched at least a share of the ACC regular-season championship. And via tiebreakers, the Blue Devils are already locked into the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament in Brooklyn next week.

Duke has not won a share of the conference’s regular-season crown since 2010 and has not won the outright regular-season championship since 2006, despite the ACC officially recognizing the conference tournament winner as the league’s champion.

Duke basketball sets the stage for epic regular-season finale

The most anticipated game of the Duke season once Mike Krzyzewski announced his pending retirement was the finale at home against North Carolina (22-8, 14-5 ACC), and that is what is next for the Blue Devils.

It will be an electric and emotional night inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, but the game is vitally important for the NCAA Tournament hopes of the visitors. And Duke seems to play its best games away from Durham.

There will be a lot of pressure on the Blue Devils to send their Hall of Fame coach out in the right fashion as the list of former players and celebrities that flock to Tobacco Road will certainly be long.

Tipoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Next. Duke falls short of magic ranking in Coach K’s final week. dark