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Duke vs. Gonzaga rating, takeaways: Paolo Banchero leads No. 5 Blue Devils to upset of top-ranked Zags

Friday night time’s showdown between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 5 Duke delivered in an enormous means because the Blue Devils topped the Bulldogs 84-81 in a battle of two nationwide title contenders with rosters headlined by the game’s high freshmen at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the top, it was the play of a veteran that helped lead the Blue Devils to their second victory over a top-10 opponent this season. 

Junior ahead Wendell Moore Jr. scored 16 of his 20 factors within the second half and made seven of his final eight free throw makes an attempt to assist Duke outlast a Gonzaga staff which had appeared almost invincible in a 20-point win over No. 2 UCLA on Tuesday night time, took its first lack of the season and its first regular-season defeat since a 91-78 loss Feb. 22, 2020 at BYU.

A crowd of 20,389 — the biggest to ever see a basketball sport in Nevada — added a palpable sense of stress to the assembly, which featured No. 1 ranked freshman Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga taking over No. 2 ranked freshman Paolo Banchero of Duke. Banchero was the story of the primary half, as he scored 20 of his 21 factors earlier than halftime. But he left the sport with 14:11 remaining within the second half whereas coping with obvious cramps and didn’t return till the 8:25 mark. 

Mark Williams and Moore helped carry the load in his absence. Williams scored 17 for Duke (7-0) and pulled down a team-high 9 rebounds whereas battling Holmgren and Gonzaga star Drew Timme within the submit. Julian Strawther continued a powerful begin to his sophomore season for the Zags (6-1) by ending with 20 factors and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Timme added 17 and Holmgren scored 16. But it was the Blue Devils who emerged with a marquee victory as Forty second-year coach Mike Krzyzewski notched his seventh win over a No. 1 ranked foe.

Duke needs to be No. 1

With Duke’s win over Gonzaga, three of the top-five groups on this week’s AP Top 25 ballot have taken losses in the previous few days. That means the Blue Devils ought to attain No. 1 on Monday when a brand new ballot is launched. The solely different staff with a case for the highest spot could be a Purdue squad with wins over North Carolina and No. 7 Villanova. But Duke’s resume is extra spectacular. The Blue Devils have knocked off No. 10 Kentucky and now have one of the best win of the season in faculty basketball by knocking off the Zags.

Gonzaga wasn’t merely using the coattails of final season’s success. The Bulldogs had earned their rating with wins over No. 8 Texas and by crushing the No. 2 Bruins on Tuesday. This Duke staff, which did not even make final 12 months’s NCAA Tournament, appears just like the clear lower ACC favourite and potential Final Four staff. If they do attain No. 1, it will likely be twentieth staff in Krzyzewski’s 42-year tenure to achieve that summit.

Banchero flashes

Banchero’s bout with cramps took him off the ground for a vital stretch of the second half and appeared to restrict him upon his re-entry for the sport’s closing stretch. But he confirmed why he’s the potential No. 1 choose within the 2022 NBA Draft through the first half. The 6-foot-9 ahead hit 8 of 13 pictures from the sector within the first half, together with three 3-pointers.

One sequence in the course of the primary half was notably emblematic of Banchero’s all-around sport. After knocking down a rebound following a miss by Timme, Banchero led a Duke quick break and lobbed to Mark Williams for a dunk. On the next Duke possession, Banchero took a go from Trevor Keels in transition and drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing that gave Duke its largest lead of the sport at 27-18. Banchero can do all of it, and Friday’s sport was merely the newest reminder as he has now reached double figures in every of his first seven faculty video games.

Holmgren is not any slouch

An NBA basic supervisor torn over who they may choose at No. 1 general within the 2022 NBA Draft might need left Friday night time’s sport extra impressed with Banchero. But it isn’t as if Holmgren disenchanted. The 7-footer completed with 16 factors, seven rebounds and three blocks, though he did miss on all three of his 3-point makes an attempt. Williams was additionally in a position to exploit Holmgren’s skinny body at instances, but it surely’s no secret that Holmgren wants so as to add bulk to his body within the years to come back.

If there have been any questions on if Holmgren’s conditioning or athleticism would maintain up in a sport involving elite athletes performed at a frenetic tempo, he answered these by wanting composed and comfy in his function. Holmgren and Banchero are distinctly totally different gamers with Banchero offering extra positional versatility. Holmgren, then again, is a real fashionable heart. In simply seven video games, he is already blocked extra pictures (24) than anybody on Gonzaga’s roster did in 32 video games final season. Banchero might have gotten one of the best of him Friday, however do not be stunned if Holmgren remains to be first within the eyes of some NBA groups in want of a contemporary heart in subsequent 12 months’s draft.

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