Duke vs NC State

Zion-Williamson-USNews-021819-ftr-getty

Zion-Williamson-USNews-021819-ftr-getty

The first opening minutes of Saturday's game between Duke and NC State will be critical for the Blue Devils. It clanged left and into the hands of an N.C. State defender.

Despite sitting for over six minutes after picking up his fourth foul, Williamson finished the game with a game-high 32 points to go with six rebounds.

Former national champions and All-Americans during their time at Duke filled the bleachers behind the Duke bench, as well as World Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, to be just another celebrity-filled crowd that Duke played in front of. Leading that highly efficient interior attack is, of course, Zion Williamson. Then the Wolfpack committed four turnovers and missed two shots before scoring again. Zion has been playing at this elevated level for most of this spectacularly brilliant season. "They just open up the court for me to make decisions". Williamson has not formally announced his plans for next season. "I thought we had a really good game plan and when you look at (R.J.) Barrett and Williamson, they were really, really good today". During Williamson's absence, the Wolfpack managed to cut the lead to a manageable eight points with 6:43 left after a drive and layup by redshirt sophomore Devon Daniels, but it was all Duke from there.

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Virginia Tech finished with 20 assists on 25 field goals (80 percent) in Wednesday night's win over visiting Georgia Tech ... that marked the third time this season in which the Hokies assisted on at least 80 percent of their field goals ... Saturday's result, as much as it fought the final score was never in doubt, showed that State has a long way to go to reach the top of the ACC. Even the Crazies can't scream loud enough to cause more of a distraction than Williamson. 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his first college career triple-double, while Tre Jones added 13 points and five assists for the Blue Devils (22-2, 10-1 ACC), who were winning nine straight. This isn't the stingiest defense we've seen in Chapel Hill under Williams, but one thing the Heels do very well is limiting opponents to one shot. "When he's going, he gives us energy, momentum".

Markell Johnson had 16 points and 10 assists, Torin Dorn scored 17 points and C.J. Bryce added 13 points for the Wolfpack (18-8, 6-7), who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Duke, following Tuesday night's historic comeback win at Louisville, sits atop the ACC standings with a 10-1 league mark, while Virginia and North Carolina are a game back at 9-2 ... the Blue Devils are off to their best start to an ACC season since beginning the 2010-11 campaign 12-1 in conference play ...

"Most of them were to Zion", coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

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