MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The University of Miami men’s basketball team made a national statement Wednesday night with an annihilation of the number one ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Bank United Center.
Duke entered the game without power forward Ryan Kelly, but outside of bringing back Shane Battier, Jayson Williams and other former Duke stars, the Blue Devils never had a chance.
With roughly 10:18 left in the first half, Duke’s Quinn Cook hit a 3-point-shot and pushed the Blue Devils ahead 14-13. From there, the wheels came off for Duke as Miami outhustled, outrebounded, and flat-out outplayed Duke from that point in the game forward.
Duke didn’t score another basket in the first half until the clock read 2:02 when Amile Jefferson tipped-in a shot. Miami, on the other hand, couldn’t miss.
By the time halftime was reached, Miami was up by a score of 42-19. At the 18:27 mark of the second half, Miami’s Shane Larkin hit a driving layup and pushed the score to 49-19, completing a 36-5 run against the number one team in the country.
Miami’s suffocating defense held up through the entire game and by the second half, Duke’s players looked disinterested and had given up. Miami’s senior laden team never gave Duke any reason to hope as they finished off the destruction by an 89-60 score as the Canes fans stormed the court.
As great as Miami played, the biggest question was what happened to the Blue Devils? Duke may have played itself out of a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament and the game will either serve as a wake-up call for the Blue Devils, or it will be the point the season got away from them.
According to collegebasketballtalk.com, only six teams have lost by more than 20 points in a season and gone on to win the national championship. In addition, only two teams ever ranked number one in the country, St. John’s in 1951 and Houston in 1968 have lost by more than 27 points.
Of the players listed by Duke at guard, they shot a combined 5-38 in the game, or roughly 12 percent. As a team, the Blue Devils shot 29.7 percent from the field and just 17.4 percent from behind the three-point line.
On the flip side, the Canes shot 56.9 percent from the field and 47.4 from behind the three-point line. Four Hurricanes scored in double-figures led by guard Durand Scott who had 25 points and six rebounds in the victory.
Miami remains undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play at 5-0 as they prepare for the Florida State Seminoles to arrive on Saturday. Miami is 14-3 overall while Florida State is struggling at 10-7 and just 2-2 in conference play.
The victory for Miami also pushed the Canes into first place in the conference, followed by NC State, Duke, and North Carolina. Miami plays NC State on February 2 and will make a trip to Duke on March 2.