Duke basketball: 3 takeaways from victory against Syracuse

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forwards Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team is moving on to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. 

It was not pretty for the Duke basketball team in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon, but the Blue Devils got the job done against Syracuse to advance to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Friday night.

The top-seeded Blue Devils jumped out of the gates with their hot shooting. The lead grew to as many as 11 points before Duke cooled off and Syracuse found its rhythm and heated up from the perimeter.

Syracuse shot 40.3-percent from the floor and 41.9-percent from 3-point range and had a combined 66 points from Jimmy Boeheim, Joe Girard, and Cole Swider.

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However, Duke was able to settle down at halftime and get much better looks at the basket in the second half. And although the defense still was not great for the Blue Devils in the second half, the team got the stops necessary to end the game on a 10-0 run.

The Blue Devils shot 47.8-percent from the field and 34.4-percent from deep, but it was a scorching second half for Duke, connecting on 61.3-percent of its shots and firing at a 50.0-percent clip from downtown.

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The defense was not good for Duke, specifically in ball screens.

Syracuse got a ton of open looks in the first half, and the Orange, to their credit, hit a lot of tough shots in the second half.

Teams are going to attack Paolo Banchero and put him in precarious situations on the perimeter to try and exploit Duke in that fashion.

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Mark Williams can only do so much in the paint, specifically if he is dealing with a polished big man down low.

Duke gets another shot at Miami in the ACC Tournament Semifinals on Friday night.