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Duke’s NCAA Tournament hopes take another hit with first loss to Georgia Tech since 2010

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Duke’s NCAA Tournament hopes take another hit with first loss to Georgia Tech since 2010

, The Fayetteville Observer
Printed 11: 19 p.m. ET March 2, 2021 | Up to date 12: 17 a.m. ET March 3, 2021

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ATLANTA — Georgia Tech tried its most efficient Tuesday evening to give the final dwelling game of the season to the visiting Duke Blue Devils. 

The Yellow Jackets blew an eight-point lead with 3: 23 left in legislation as Duke’s main scorer, sophomore Matthew Injure, watched from the sideline with 5 fouls. They had been even gracious ample to give the Blue Devils the final shot earlier than beyond regular time after Jose Alvarado’s head-scratching shot strive from come mid-courtroom with 5.7 seconds left within the game.

Freshman Jaemyn Brakefield had an substitute to buy the game with a big-birth, final-2d corner three. The shot bounced off the entrance of the rim.

In beyond regular time, Georgia Tech led by six functions with 16 seconds left — a historically insurmountable lead — and grew to turn into the ball over twice. DJ Steward slit again the lead to 79-76 with a 3-point shot on the first Yellow Jacket mishap, but overlooked a 2d strive with 2.6 closing to force the game into a 2d beyond regular time.  

Georgia Tech (14-8, 10-6 ACC) held on to buy 81-77 at McCamish Pavilion, snapping a 14-game losing lumber to Duke (11-10, 9-8 ACC), which misplaced its 2d straight beyond regular time game and is on the verge of missing its first NCAA Tournament since 1995.

Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright scored 29 functions and grabbed 14 rebounds, including six functions in beyond regular time, as the Yellow Jackets likely secured their first March Madness berth since 2010 – the final year they beat the Blue Devils. 

“It be been a year of practically,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about postgame. “That’s relating to the fifth or sixth one-possession game that now we possess misplaced. You are practically having a if truth be told sincere year, and in its place, you would possibly well even very successfully be having a .500 year.”

The loss drops the Blue Devils to 3-9 this season in video games determined by 10 functions or fewer. All eight of their ACC losses had been by seven functions or much less.

“Over the years now we had been very lucky,” Coach K talked about. “So I make no longer know if the basketball gods are evening things up honest a cramped bit.”

This newest misfortune would possibly perhaps most likely also peril the most, severely when it comes to Duke’s NCAA Tournament chances.

“We knew the stakes of the game. We had been privy to the self-discipline,” talked about freshman Trace Williams, who scored 20 functions and hit all nine of his shot attempts. “We had the mentality to buy, but sadly that did no longer occur.”

Duke, currently ranked No. 58 within the NET, would possibly perhaps most likely also’ve bolstered its tournament resume with a buy over Georgia Tech, but in its place dropped to 1-4 in video games towards Quad 1 opponents. 

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It used to be another tough evening for freshman guards Steward and Jeremy Roach, who blended for 11 functions on 3-of-11 taking pictures, including hitting 2-of-9 on 3-pointers. 

“We’re true no longer getting any manufacturing from our perimeter, from our guards,” Coach K talked about. “It’s the 2d game in a row the place they’ve had a tough time towards outmoded guards.”

The Blue Devils would possibly perhaps most likely also buy up a Quad 1 buy to discontinue the regular season towards North Carolina on Saturday but will likely want a deep ACC Tournament speed to possess an substitute at collaborating in March Madness.

“There is not every other substitute moreover work and play laborious to buy,” Coach K talked about. “We make no longer feel sorry for ourselves. We feel down, but we possess to lend a hand working. Our program is ready that.”  

Here’s the Blue Devils’ NCAA Tournament resume as of March 1:

  • Duke is 1-4 in Quad I video games (a dwelling buy or loss over a top 30 NET team or a avenue buy or loss towards the top 75). 
  • Duke is 5-3 in Quad 2 video games (dwelling video games towards teams ranked Nos. 31-75 in NET, and avenue video games towards teams ranked Nos. 76-135).
  • Duke is 2-3 towards Quad 3 teams (dwelling video games towards Nos. 76-160 in NET and avenue video games towards teams ranked Nos. 136-240).
  • Duke is 3-0 towards Quad 4 teams (dwelling video games towards teams ranked No. 161 or worse within the NET, and avenue video games towards No. 241 or worse).

David Thompson is an award-a hit reporter for the US Today Community covering NC Notify and Duke athletics. He’ll be reached at dthompson1@gannett.com, at 828-231-1747, or on Twitter at @daveth89.

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Duke’s NCAA Tournament hopes take another hit with first loss to Georgia Tech since 2010