DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke passed out blue party hats with white polka dots to celebrate coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 69th birthday, and Grayson Allen kept things festive with his buzzer-beating shot to lift Duke 63-62 over No. 7 Virginia on Saturday.
Officiating has seemed to take over college basketball this week, especially in late-game situations. In the final six seconds in Cameron Indoor Stadium, the referees let the players decide. Allen had to power his shot up over Marial Shayok's tough defense. Thankfully, this one wasn't decided at the free throw line.
Ingram the Impossible
Once Duke's Brandon Ingram gets things going from the outside, he’s very difficult to stop. After missing his first three 3-point attempts from the field, he started warming up by first getting a basket inside. Then, after he connected on his next two 3s, Virginia defenders were forced to respect him from the outside.
That set up one possession late in the first half when Anthony Gill, one of the Cavaliers' best post defenders, closed out to force Ingram to put the ball on the floor. Ingram got a step on Gill, drove baseline and threw down a two-handed dunk, even as 7-footer Mike Tobey rotated but was too late to help.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett threw several defenders at Ingram, and by the time he had reached 23 points, Bennett had to go with his best perimeter defender, Malcolm Brogdon. When Brogdon made the switch to Ingram, it actually opened up the Blue Devils’ offensive flow, leading to a 10-0 run with 12 minutes left that gave Duke a 51-44 lead.
Bennett’s change to Brogdon effectively worked on cooling Ingram off. The freshman forward had only one other basket the rest of the game.
Brogdon on Allen
Speaking of Brogdon, Allen had been held below double-digit scoring only twice this season -- against Kentucky and Utah. Through roughly 30 minutes of Saturday's game, it looked as if a third such game would be added to the list. With Brogdon defending Allen, Duke's star guard was limited to just six points. While Allen didn’t score or attack the basket at the same rate that vaulted him to a team-leading 20.8-point average, he became a bit more of a facilitator than he has shown in the past. He tied his career high with seven assists.
The moment Virginia changed its defense and had Devon Hall or Shayok guarding Allen, he began getting to the basket and the free throw line. He finished with 15 points.
Cameron Indoor Stadium was a charged environment for the game, and the crowd noise definitely played a factor on the court. The Cavaliers' defense did a lot of switching on picks off the ball, and on one possession, London Perrantes tried to tell Brogdon to switch and take Allen. Brogdon didn’t hear Perrantes say "stay" and left Allen open just long enough to get a pass and make a 3-pointer.