Duke basketball: Takeaways from thrilling Sweet 16 win over Texas Tech

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team pulled out a thrilling victory over Texas Tech in the Sweet 16

It was a thrilling Thursday night in the Bay Area as the Duke basketball team advanced to the Elite Eight after a 78-73 victory over Texas Tech in the Sweet 16.

The two programs traded blows throughout the second half, but the Blue Devils would have the final closing punch behind key plays from stars Paolo Banchero, Mark Williams, and Jeremy Roach.

Duke shot 17-of-24 in the second half against the best defense in the country and made its last eight field goals.

Overall, the Blue Devils shot 51.9-percent for the game and 36.8-percent from 3-point range.

ALSO READ: Duke clutch gene in full bloom in Sweet 16 victory

Most importantly, the team connected on 88.2-percent of its free throws while only sending the Red Raiders to the line nine times.

Mike Krzyzewski’s team was able to take care of the basketball after the opening four minutes as Duke only turned the ball over nine times, which resulted in 13 points for Texas Tech.

The offense for the Red Raiders was just as efficient, connecting on 47.0-percent of its shots from the floor yet 31.6-percent from downtown.

Duke basketball looks poised for future games

Duke looks like a different basketball team than the one that closed the regular season and ACC Tournament.

The Blue Devils were on the ropes against Michigan State and Texas Tech in the final five minutes but found a way to respond and close out the games to advance in the tournament and keep the career of Mike Krzyzewski alive.

ALSO READ: Jayson Tatum predicts how far Blue Devils will advance

Duke is now the lowest remaining seed left in the West Regional after Arkansas upset top-seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, setting up the Blue Devils and Razorbacks going to battle in the Elite Eight on Saturday night.

A potential matchup with North Carolina in the Final Four also looms should Duke defeat Arkansas and the Tar Heels defeat St. Peter’s.