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Duke Carves Syracuse Up In The Carrier Dome, 97-72

What an amazing game for the Blue Devils

Duke v Syracuse
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 26: Theo John #12, Jeremy Roach #3, and Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils, celebrate during the first half against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome on February 26, 2022 in Syracuse, New York.
Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

With 3:32 to go at Syracuse, Duke’s Mark Williams dunked and at the media timeout, Syracue’s Jim Boeheim wore a wry smile as he watched Frank Sibide walk to the bench. He tapped him on the chest, perhaps in sympathy.

What could he do?

Williams had just scored his 28th point on 11-14 and Duke was up 23 and would win 97-72. Duke had been up by 20 more for most of the game. And with the way Duke started offensively, what could anyone do?

Because the Blue Devils started with a positively freakish offensive performance, going up 14-0 and running that out to 41-13.

Although Syracuse cut the lead down at halftime with a nice run, it was never a game. Mark Williams, Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin were ridiculous in the first half. At one point, the Blue Devils were hitting 90.9 percent overall and 83.3 percent on threes. It was one of the best offensives stretches by any team, anywhere in the country, this season. Duke was unbelievable for about 10 minutes.

For the next 30, they were just damn good, and not just on offense. Three starters - Jimmy Boeheim, Cole Swider and Frank Anselem - combined for two points. Buddy Boeheim finished with 23 and Joe Girard got 18. Benny Williams finished with 14 off the bench including one gorgeous reverse and Sibide got 11, which, for him, is huge.

This was Duke’s night from beginning to end. There was nothing that Syracuse could do to slow the Blue Devils and certainly not to contain Williams, who toyed with the Orange inside. Aside from his 28, he had 12 boards including eight offensive.

That’s partly because Syracuse is missing Jesse Edwards but even so: Williams was, literally and figuratively, head and shoulders above the ‘Cuse.

Let’s be clear: no one is going to play at that level very often, but even so, Duke has served notice: we’re beyond what most people can do on a normal day and on a great day? Good luck catching this team.

Aside from Williams, Griffin finished with 20 and Banchero 21. Wendell Moore had just five including a Sports Center level dunk. Trevor Keels had four while Jeremy Roach had 10 off the bench. Theo John was also excellent off the bench with solid defense, four points and four boards.

Of all the ACC farewell-and-get-out ceremonies from around the ACC, Syracuse’s was the warmest and most touching: they’re going to create a Captain William Krzyzewski Award to be awarded to a Syracuse student with military involvement. That was really a wonderful gesture and makes you feel a little bad about Duke laying such a brutal whipping on Syracuse.

Jim will be along soon with his take.


Player Of The Game vs. Syracuse

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Wendell Moore
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    AJ Griffin
    (13 votes)
  • 10%
    Paolo Banchero
    (61 votes)
  • 85%
    Mark Williams
    (515 votes)
  • 0%
    Trevor Keels
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Theo John
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Bates Jones
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeremy Roach
    (2 votes)
600 votes total Vote Now