Duke basketball gets outclassed in ACC Tournament Championship

Duke basketball players (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Duke basketball players (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

It really wasn’t close when it comes to the Duke basketball team on Saturday night. 

A chance to win its first trophy of the season was on the line for the Duke basketball team on Saturday night, and the Blue Devils didn’t want any part of it.

Duke was outplayed by Virginia Tech from the opening tipoff in the ACC Tournament Championship as the Hokies punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, 82-67.

There was no fight from Mike Krzyzewski’s team, despite what the Hall of Famer said in his post-game press conference.

There was no intensity, urgency, or hustle either.

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Virginia Tech got every loose ball. Virginia Tech won every 50/50 play. Virginia Tech wanted to win more.

There was no better example of that than a soft Wendell Moore post entry pass on the first possession of the second half that led to a turnover and easy transition basket for the Hokies.

Krzyzewski had to call a timeout 35 seconds after the intermission.

It was embarrassing, to be blunt.

Duke basketball did not look ready to play on Saturday night

Duke’s defense, which has not been consistently good for at least two weeks, was putrid on Saturday night.

Virginia Tech is a 3-point shooting team, and it was on full display in its semifinal victory over North Carolina. Apparently, Duke did not get the memo as the Hokies used simple ball screens to get switches in their favor, and they didn’t miss.

Virginia Tech was 10-of-22 from 3-point range as a team.

Storm Murphy and Hunter Cattoor had the Duke defenders dancing on the perimeter, most notably Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Cattoor went for 31 points on 7-of-9 shooting from 3-point territory while Murphy racked up nine points and six assists.

Keve Aluma was able to spin off defenders or get free in the paint all night, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.

Saturday was Virginia Tech’s fourth victory in four days to capture the conference championship, but it looked like the Hokies just had a week off and Duke was forced to play on four straight days.

The Blue Devils will now await their NCAA Tournament fate, and seeding, on Sunday evening during the Selection Show. Now, Duke is running out of chances to avoid forever being known as the team that lost Coach K’s final game in Cameron and his final ACC Tournament Championship.

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