Duke basketball embarrasses Virginia in preview of NCAA Tournament potential

The Blue Devils were in cruise control inside Cameron on Saturday night

Mar 2, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA;  Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) reacts during the
Mar 2, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) reacts during the / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke basketball team made one of the best defenses in the country looked like a glorified high school squad.

Virginia stood no match for the Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in Cameron after taking a 2-0 lead, only to be outscored 40-16 after the opening 30 seconds.

Kyle Filipowski led the charge for Duke with 15 points in the opening half on 7-of-9 shooting and finished the game with 21 points as the Blue Devils cruised to victory, 73-48.

The Cavaliers (21-9, 12-7 ACC) looked no part of an NCAA Tournament team, shooting 6-for-26 (23.1-percent) in the first half, and its numbers only inflated in the second half because of the lopsided score.

Tyrese Proctor, who turned in one of his best games of the season, appears to be turning a corner after being put back in the starting lineup after finishing with 15 points while Mark Mitchell was the only player in double figures for Duke with 10 points.

Every player who saw at least 10 minutes scored for the Blue Devils, including a combined 12 points for freshmen Sean Stewart and TJ Power.

No. 10 Duke (23-6, 14-4 ACC) would lead by as many as 29 points, 68-39, in the second half after shooting 49.2-percent for the game. The Blue Devils also made just 2-of-13 shots to finish the game.

The game showed the potential of what Duke could be during the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.

Virginia shot 30.9-percent in its loss after bolstering its shooting numbers by connecting on 37.9-percent of its shots after halftime.

The Blue Devils will have a quick turnaround and play its final road game of the season against North Carolina State on Monday night (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN), after the Wolfpack squandered a 9-point halftime lead against North Carolina on Saturday afternoon.