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Duke Gets A Very Strange Win Over Wake Forest, 76-74

This one has to be seen to be believed.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Duke
 Feb 15, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Mark Williams (15) moves the ball against Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Dallas Walton (13) during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s really too bad that Duke’s game against Wake Forest couldn’t have been played on Halloween because it was a combination of weirdness and a house of horrors.

Things started off weird early with the Scheyer/Amaker story about Duke’s succession plan. Duke played well in the first half, other than shooting, and really hard too. But after halftime things just got strange.

First, Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t come out for the second half which sent a palpable buzz through the crowd. The refs asked the Duke bench about it. Steve Forbes gestured over to the bench too and Chris Carrawell gave him a thumbs up so presumably it’s a transient illness.

Then we saw that someone on Twitter said, in essence, wow, Scheyer is going to have to answer the Amaker questions in the post-game presser.

Which was weird too.

Then the game got strange.

Duke had a 19 point lead and suddenly couldn’t buy a basket, at one point missing nine out of ten. And at the same time Wake heated up and a game that Duke had firmly in control was clearly up for grabs.

The Blue Devils kept trying to go inside and kept turning the ball over. Paolo Banchero had one of his worst games at Duke and while he adjusted to a poor shooting night early by becoming a facilitator, later he tried to force things and had some bad turnovers.

At one point, Mark Williams got into a confrontation with Wake’s Khadim Sy and got the technical he’s been flirting with all season (Sy got one too).

As Duke’s composure ebbed away panic set in. On one trip downcourt, late, with the game still in doubt, AJ Griffin, who is usually very steady, threw up a three that missed.

Wake Forest finally tied the game at 74-74 on a pair of free throws by Alondes Williams with :18 left.

Duke called a timeout and Banchero brought the ball up. He drove and shot with :02 left and missed - but Williams tipped it in with :00.2 left on the clock.

It looked like a miracle finish but the officials reviewed the play at length and the crowd, which had been unhappy with the refs all night, were waiting for them to wave it off. But when they left the scoreboard, one motioned that the shot was good and they put .4 on the clock.

Wake brought the ball in and Domari Monsanto caught it in the backcourt and got a shot off. Was it in time?

Didn’t matter - it rimmed out.

But it was that close to going in. It was like Butler all over again.

We haven’t heard anything specific about Coach K yet and we don’t know if Scheyer was asked about the Amaker story or not. But whatever happened, it can’t be any weirder than the second half was overall.

Jim will be along soon with his take from somewhere in the Twilight Zone.

Poll

Player Of The Game vs. Wake Forest

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Wendell Moore
    (38 votes)
  • 1%
    AJ Griffin
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Paolo Banchero
    (5 votes)
  • 85%
    Mark Williams
    (488 votes)
  • 1%
    Trevor Keels
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Joey Baker
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Theo John
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Bates Jones
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Jeremy Roach
    (10 votes)
573 votes total Vote Now