Duke is going back to the Sweet 16

(4) Duke – 71

(12) Yale – 64

Which is more encouraging/discouraging:

  • The fact that Duke opened up an absolute can over the game’s first 20 minutes, taking a 48-25 lead into halftime?


  • That, as Joe Sheehan put it, “[Duke] gave up a 30-10 run to an Ivy League team playing without its captain,” allowing Yale to turn a 23-point second half deficit into a three-point deficit in the closing minute?


With 41 seconds left in the game, Duke led by one possession. It was 67-64 when Brandon Ingram stepped up an buried the front end of a one-and-one, then the second to put the Blue Devils up by five. Grayson Allen would add a couple free throws for the game’s final total, and Yale wouldn’t score again.

I wrote the other day about Duke’s three-most important players in the NCAA Tournament, and how Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram were going to be doing a ton of ball handling and shooting — acting as the Blue Devils’ only hope. Without either, they are doomed.

On Saturday against Yale, Allen and Ingram went off for 29 and 25 points, respectively, and made up 68% of Duke’s field goal attempts (34/50) and 76% of the team’s scoring output (54/71). That means over the entirety of the game, all other members of Duke’s roster combined to score 17 points on 16 shots. That just seems like an insanely low number.

Ingram and Allen have now played 159 of 160 combined NCAA Tournament minutes through two games, scoring 97 of Duke’s 164 points.

It’s all on them.

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