Paolo drags the Blue Devils to success and one step away from the regular season conference title. The derby with North Carolina on Saturday
Banchero’s Duke (21 points with 7/10 shooting) begins to make its mark in the history of America’s most famous basketball program, at a collegiate level. The Blue Devils win in Pittsburgh 86-56 and conquer the first seed at the next Conference tournament, that of the Acc. Above all, thanks to the eighth consecutive away success, they conquer the Atlantic Coast Conference at a regular season level for the first time in 2010. With a record of 16-3 and a match to play, the derby with North Carolina on Saturday can only possibly be joined by Notre Dame (14-4), which has two and a half games on the calendar of posting.
In 2010 Duke also won the conference tournament and above all even the national title. The Blue Devils do not conquer the regular season of the Acc without equal merit (in 2010 he was with Maryland) even since 2006. They will succeed if they are able to beat the Tar Heels or if the Fighting Irish, folded in the direct match (for this Duke will have anyway the first # 1 in the conference tournament) will lose at least one more time.
Coach K is spoiled for choice. He has a team of NBA talent playing for him at the college level, thanks to his ability to recruit phenomenally from high school. Paolo Banchero, the Seattle long with an Italian passport, scores 21 efficient points, shooting 7/10 from the field, confirming himself as the top 5 choice in the 2022 draft. Syracuse. In Pennsylvania then the other freshman also and above all shines, Trevor Keels, a physically tough guard with many points in his hands, this time he finished with 27. And then AJ Griffin, another rookie, reiterates that he is the top 10 prospect of the next draft: play with a physicality and a maturity well above his years: a winger who will play for a long time in the NBA. Duke, won 26 and lost 4 overall in the season, also considering the non-conference races, at the Ncaa Tournament he will start from seed number 1 or number 2, based on the progress of the Acc tournament, won for the last time in the 2019, in the version with Williamson as driver. Will Paolo be able to emulate Zion? These Blue Devils have already beaten Gonzaga and Kentucky, among the first candidates for the national title. Coach K, 75, aims to leave the scene with at least one other Final Four, perhaps with the sixth triumph of his illustrious career which now ends, a month away at best.
Coach Capel, coach from Pittsburgh, former player and assistant to Coach K, pays homage to him before the match. The gifts, now involuntary, continue on the court, because the modest Panthers (11-19) never manage to enter the game. Immediately 16-3 Duke, with 7 points from Banchero, who starts strong scoring from 3. Then 36-19 at the interval. The Petersen Events Center audience never becomes a factor in the score gap. Keels, 15 points in the middle of the game, is irrepressible: 6/7 from the field. And Pitt shoots with 27%. Duke never trembles and spreads, also showing a good defensive application. All easy this time. Against North Carolina it will be more complicated, but in the meantime Coach K is enjoying our Banchero and a season of applause so far.
2 March – 08:40
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