Chances were good that, barring in unlikely blowout, Duke’s streak of 80-point games would come to an end against Virginia. So it was at Cameron Indoor Stadium this past Saturday afternoon as a young Blue Devil squad met a tightly wound, veteran Virginia unit.
The Cavaliers entered the game leading the nation’s major-college programs in suppressing opponents’ scoring. They stood second to Michigan State in field goal percentage defense.
Duke exceeded the average UVa opponent’s scored in ACC play by a dozen points (63 versus 51), and shot about 11 percent better than the Cav norm, converting 48.2 percent. Helping Duke’s shooting efficiency, post players Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. took 29 of the team’s 56 shots, including seven from 3-point range. They made all but one of the Devils’ threes, and all but eight of their twos.
But Duke’s strong numbers weren’t quite sufficient in a 65-63 loss marked by 5-of-11 free throw shooting, including a squandered pair of one-and-ones down the stretch by Carter, and 16 turnovers, among them a long, rash pass into a crowded lane by Trevor Duval with 62 seconds left, trailing by a basket.
The point guard had eight assists, counterbalanced by five turnovers, several strikingly thoughtless. At times in the opening half, Duval seemed simply overwhelmed by the intensity of Virginia’s defense and by the game itself.
That was the fifth time in 21 games Duval committed at least five turnovers. The freshman has 128 assists to 55 turnovers entering the Notre Dame game, a ratio of 2.3 assists per turnover. The team’s best ballhandler, with a 2.5 ratio of assists to turnovers, is a curiously inoffensive (in both senses of the word) Grayson Allen.
A word on ACC teams that had the longest streaks of 80 or more points scored, as compiled by Duke sports information. Amplifying on what Duke’s SID found, of six squads that previously matched or exceeded the 2018 Blue Devils’ run of 16 straight, five reached the Final Four and three won the NCAA title.
|HIGH AND MIGHTY
ACC Teams With Most Consecutive Games of 80-Plus Points
|20||North Carolina||1989||Sweet 16|
|16||North Carolina||2008||Final Four|
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