Last night was all about college basketball throughout the United States. With all due respect when there are NCAA games on the menu, they have the advantage over other sports events.
Duke Gets the Big Derby
The focus of the fans was on the big clash between No.2 Virginia and No.3 Duke. The Cavaliers (20-2) were eager to avenge the only defeat they experienced throughout the season, but their opponent was just too strong tonight.
The Blue Devils (21-2) opened the game hitting 7 of their first 8 attempts, stunning the hosts, who couldn’t find the proper rhythm.
“We were just in our zone and it’s great to see when our team is like that,” RJ Barrett who hit 6 threes tonight, and had a game-high 26 points.
Still, the Cavaliers managed to decrease guests lead to a bearable 39-35 at the halftime, despite being down at one moment 14 points. But as the second part of the match started, Mike Krzyzewski’s boys began regaining their lead, and they were constantly on the safe distance. We just need to mention that Duke never trailed in this contest.
In the end, it was a routine win for the visitors, who played very well, which coach K confirmed saying that his boys used every chance to make damage from beyond the arc, without his assistance from the bench.
“My players felt it,” Krzyzewski said. “That little bit of room — they took advantage of it without any kind of coaching.”
Cam Reddish added 18, while Zion Williamson had 17 points.
Among the home team, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome had 16 each.
A very interesting thing in John Paul Jones Arena was the presence of LeBron James and Rajon Rondo who were watching this game. Whether is that because of some players or just plain curiosity, these two guys were in the middle of attention.
Tennessee not Stopping
No.1 Tennessee Volunteers are not stopping, as they reached their 18th consecutive win, to improve the overall score at 22-1 since the start of the season. Their latest victims were the Florida Gators (12-22), 73-61. Except for the first five minutes, the Vols were constantly ahead. They got the lead with a 15-3 run and sealed the win with a 9-0 burst during the middle of the second half when they crushed all hopes Gators had of coming back into the match.
Gators’ coach Michael White didn’t have a problem to say openly that Tennessee plays the best basketball in the country right now.
“They’re the best team in the country,” White said. “They’re equally as good defensively as they are offensive.
Grant Williams had 16 points for Tennessee, Admiral Schofield 14, and Jordan Bowen 13 off the bench.
Noah Locke with 17 and Jalen Hudson with 15 led the Gators.
Kentucky Barely Survives Mississippi State
The No.5 Wildcats (20-3) had an 18-point advantage in the early part of the second half. Everything indicated an easy win of the guests, who were looking quite good in those moments. Still, the Bulldogs (16-7) rallied back and forced the chance to tie the game in the closing moments of the event. They failed, however. In the end, it was 71-67 for Kentucky, whose coach John Calipari wasn’t happy with the way his boys played.
“If you want me to tell you everything’s all good, it isn’t,” Calipari said. “I went right down to each guy. Not mean, screaming or cussing. I wasn’t.”
This was the 10th straight win for his team, 13th against the Bulldogs.
In other matches, No.7 Michigan Wolverines defeated Wisconsin Badgers 61-52, No.8 North Carolina edged out Miami after overtime 88-85, while No.10 Marquette won in a thrilling ending against No.14 Villanova 66-65.
No.4 Gonzaga destroyed Saint Mary’s 94-46, and Michigan State Spartans trashed Minnesota 79-55.