The Duke basketball team continued its run of dominance winning the ACC Tournament.
There are very few teams playing better than the Duke basketball team right now and it continued on Saturday night.
The Blue Devils captured its 22nd ACC Tournament Championship — its first since 2019 — while exacting revenge on Virginia for its controversial overtime victory a month ago, 59-49.
Duke has won nine straight games since that defeat in Charlottesville and looked primed to be a dangerous team in next week’s NCAA Tournament.
It won with its defense in Greensboro on Saturday, however.
Virginia could not consistently get clean looks, shooting 16-for-48 from the field (33.3-percent), and got over a quarter of its points from the free throw line (13).
The Cavaliers connected on just 4-of-17 attempts from 3-point range and its 17 points in the first half were its lowest in a half this season — as well as the fewest amount of points the Blue Devils allowed in a half.
Despite its outstanding defensive effort, Duke was only able to take a seven point lead, 24-17, at the break and failed to pull away in the second half after building a 14-point lead, 36-22, in the opening six minutes.
Virginia cut the Blue Devil lead to four, 53-49, with 45.6 seconds left but Duke would hit its next six free throws, four from Jeremy Roach, to close out the victory.
Duke basketball leaders help get team to finish line
Jeremy Roach, trying to capture that elusive ACC Championship, finished the game with a team-high 23 points, four rebounds, and one assist while shooting 7-of-12 from the field, 2-of-2 from 3-point range, and made all seven free throws attempted.
Roach has only lost one game in the ACC Tournament during his three year career after his freshman campaign was ended after two victories because multiple members of the team contracted COVID-19, he fell in the championship game during as a sophomore, and captured the crown this season.
He scored 11 of Duke’s final 14 points in the final five minutes of the victory and continues to make the biggest plays of the game in March.
Kyle Filipowski was the only other player on the Blue Devils to finish in double figures with 20 points and 10 rebounds as no one else scored more than five points in the defensive slugfest.
Duke has certainly made its case for a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, perhaps as high as a No. 3 seed, but will learn its fate on Sunday evening (6:00p.m. ET, CBS) during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.