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A Heartstopper In Cameron As Duke Ekes One Out Over Clemson

Nothing but respect for the Tigers.

Clemson v Duke
 DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 25: Joey Baker #13 of the Duke Blue Devils collides with David Collins #13 of the Clemson Tigers during the first half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 25, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Somehow, that wasn’t as much fun as we hoped: Clemson came into Cameron a 12.5 underdog and came extremely close to pulling off the upset. Duke won 71-69, but, really, Clemson won too.

Why?

Because Duke had far more size and talent and the Tigers didn't care. In the first half, without question, Clemson played harder than Duke and, honestly, punked the Blue Devils.

In Cameron.

There was never really a sense of the Duke team we’ve seen this year, with a burgeoning young big man who controls the paint, a talented 6-10 forward with guard skills who can punish you in so many ways, a fantastic senior in Wendell Moore who has matured into a superb all-round player.

We saw glimpses of that team, but not what we’ve become accustomed to. What we did see was Joey Baker and Bates Jones being called on, and answering. We saw Jeremy Roach stepping up and playing like a senior.

But only glimpses.

AJ Griffin was 1-7. Mark Williams only took three shots (he hit them all). And Trevor Keels is still not back from the leg injury he suffered at FSU.

And Clemson?

Brad Brownell has come in for heavy criticism at times but the truth is, while he usually can’t get the players the better ACC programs get, he gets his guys to play hard as hell. Consequently, it’s never really fun to play the Tigers, but you can’t help but to admire the heart that program shows. Brownell is vastly underappreciated. He’s a heck of a coach.

So hats off the the Tigers. They showed they have the heart and soul to compete with anyone. As Duke fans, it was a scary game, but as ACC fans, we couldn’t be prouder of what Clemson showed in Cameron. We hope their fans are as proud of them as we are and not too disappointed. They played magnificently.

Jim will be along presently with his take from Cameron.

Poll

Player Of The Game vs. Clemson

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Wendell Moore
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    AJ Griffin
    (5 votes)
  • 23%
    Paolo Banchero
    (133 votes)
  • 5%
    Mark Williams
    (32 votes)
  • 38%
    Jeremy Roach
    (214 votes)
  • 21%
    Joey Baker
    (120 votes)
  • 0%
    Theo John
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    Bates Jones
    (33 votes)
  • 0%
    Jaylen Blakes
    (3 votes)
556 votes total Vote Now