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Duke Flies Past Seahawks In NCAA Opener, 93-85

Marshall Plumlee was brilliant in this one.

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Marshall Plumlee got very, very serious Thursday afternoon.
Marshall Plumlee got very, very serious Thursday afternoon.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Somewhere in the Dunkin' Donuts Center there must be a phone booth they missed. That's the only explanation we can think of: At halftime, Marshall Plumlee stepped in, threw his mask away and came out as Superman.

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And good thing because Duke was in trouble after the first half.

UNC-W played wonderful basketball in the first half. They had confidence and verve. It was a blast to watch them. For a while we were thinking, well here we go again: VCU. Mercer. Fill in the blank.

Didn't happen and Plumlee was the reason why.

After the half he came out and registered a big block immediately. His energy was infectious and pretty quickly you could see that UNC-W got frustrated. The Seahawks started shooting quickly and when they did, Duke was getting the rebounds.

Plumlee got behind their defense repeatedly and scored on multiple alley-oops and dunks. He finished with a career-high 23 points and also had eight rebounds.

Despite his heroics, the Seahawks, a gutty team, pushed back and when Denzle Ingram hit a three to cut the lead to seven, Matt Jones came back immediately to push it back to 10.

Plumlee picked up his 4th foul with about 6:00 to go and then fouled out with 2:01 to go.

UNC-W again would not go quietly: Ingram hit another huge three to cut Duke's lead to 90-85 with just 1:27 left.

Grayson Allen brought the ball down and slipped on a wet spot - turnover. The Seahawks got three attempts and missed them all.

Allen came down and slipped again - after that the ballboys were finally put to work cleaning the court.

From there it was basically game management and defense. Duke did both well enough to win. Allen hit a pair of free throws and Ingram split his. But the game was done.

After the game, Coach K lauded Plumlee and said that both teams were very good and they both played hard. Hard to argue that. This was a solid game for Duke and UNC-W was really impressive. Those guys have a bright future.

We'll have more extensive comments on this game later tonight.