Everyone knew coming into Duke vs Syracuse Part II: Game of Zones that this would be a low scoring affair and a game that would come down to the final few possessions. The game was an ebb and flow of momentum 40 minutes and neither team gave much more than an inch. Duke came in looking to have much more success shooting the ball from beyond the arc. It was going to be very hard to not shoot better than 11% as they did in the first game and while the Blue Devils did improve their number from 3 point range it was still a very poor performance in terms of percentage – only shooting 19.2%. Hooray for 8% jump.
Where the Devils would earn their 69-65 victory would be at the free throw line where Duke went 20-28 to 11-17 for the Orange; and the other big stat was in points off of turnovers where Duke had an 18-8 advantage. The 16 Syracuse turnovers negated what was a good shooting night overall for the Orange would shot 49% for the game and 56% in the second half. Each Syracuse run, and there were plenty of them, was met with a Duke answer. The 15 minute mark say the Orange get within one point of tying the ballgame for the second time in the half but that was as close as Syracuse would get.
Similarly to the first game, Duke looked to try to throw lobs over the zone and several times it worked. Syracuse employed the same strategy a few times as well but were mostly content to get a capable passer and shot maker into the middle of the zone to either draw and dish or hit the mid-range jumpshot.
Syracuse got a huge game from Tyus Battle who went 7 for 15, scoring 19 points and dishing 5 assists. They got double figure efforts from Marek Dolezaj who scored 13 and Oshae Brissett who came on late scoring 15 points and pulling down 7 rebounds.
For Duke, Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. led the way. Bagley scored 22 points off of 8-12 shooting and Wendell Carter Jr. scored 14 points off of only 3-6 shooting, making 8-11 foul shots. Carter Jr. also added 12 rebounds. Senior guard Grayson Allen did not have a great shooting night going 3-14 from beyond the arc and 4-15 overall but he did hit some big shots scoring 15 points and most importantly dishing 8 assists to only 1 turnover. Duke also got double-digit scoring from freshman Gary Trent Jr. who despite struggling to shoot from 3 in this game still had 14 points and a big driving floater with 51 seconds left to give Duke a 2 possession lead. Trent also hit 2 free throws with 6 second left to put the game out of reach.
The win advances Duke into the Elite 8 with a date with the number 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks Sunday night.