Last year, 15th-seeded Lehigh upset the second-seeded Blue Devils in the Round of 64. The Blue Devils, who are a No. 2 seed again this year, did not suffer the same fate this time around, knocking off 15th-seeded Albany 73-61.
Here’s your postgame recap:
Revisiting the three keys to the game:
- Time off for Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry. Prior to today’s matchup, the Blue Devils hadn’t taken the court in a week. In their last time out on the hardwood, Maryland handed them an 83-74 defeat in the quarterfinal round of the ACC tournament. Curry, who led the team in scoring against Albany with 26 points, showed no signs of rust after the week off. Kelly added eight points and six rebounds.
- Getting the good Rasheed Sulaimon. ‘Sheed returned to the starting lineup today after getting replaced by Tyler Thornton the previous two games. The freshman guard, who has alternated between hot and cold this season, didn’t have a particularly good or bad game today. He put up seven points and pulled down two boards.
- Defend the 3-pointer. The Blue Devils struggled to defend Albany from behind the arc. The Great Danes shot an unbelievable 60% from long range on 9-of-15 3-point attempts.
Three key plays:
- 0:09, first half. After missing two attempts from the charity stripe less than a minute earlier, Rasheed Sulaimon made two free throws, giving the Blue Devils a comfortable 35-26 lead going into halftime.
- 15:35, second half. Mason Plumlee set up fellow senior Seth Curry for a three-point jumper. Curry made the shot, giving Duke a 14-point lead–its largest of the game.
- 5:26, second half. Albany junior Luke Devlin cut the Great Danes’ deficit to 10 with a layup, giving them an opportunity to crawl back into the game.
Three key stats:
- Albany made 60% of its 3-point attempts. The Great Danes, who have been potent from long range this season, continued their red-hot shooting from behind the arc today. They knocked down 9-of-15 3-pointers against the Blue Devils. Even though Duke led the entire way, Albany’s hot shooting kept them in it
- Duke shot 58.7% of the field. Albany was hot from beyond the arc, but the Blue Devils were hot from everywhere. Curry and Plumlee led the way, going 10-of-14 and 9-of-11, respectively.
- The Great Danes scored nine points off Duke turnovers. The Blue Devils committed 11 turnovers in today’s game. Albany capitalized on their mistakes, scoring nine points off these turnovers. These points, in conjunction with the Great Danes’ 3-point shooting, allowed Albany to keep up with Duke.
And the Duke game ball goes to … Mason Plumlee. The senior forward was efficient all game, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds. He went 9-of-11 from the field.
And the Albany game ball goes to … Jacob Iati. The senior guard scored 15 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Great Danes. He made 75% of his three-point attempts.