WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Everybody figured Wake Forest would ask star scorer Jeff Teague to take the shot that would knock off No. 1 Duke. That's why coach Dino Gaudio instead drew up a play for the player whose defensive lapse let the Blue Devils tie it.
Johnson made up for a horrible final minute on defense by hitting the layup with 0.8 seconds left that helped the sixth-ranked Demon Deacons upend Duke 70-68 on Wednesday night in a matchup of the two most recent top-ranked teams.
"We knew everybody was going to key on Jeff Teague he's the one who scores for us, puts buckets up for us," Johnson said. "I finished the play."
And, more importantly, the game. Johnson had 13 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (17-1, 4-1 ACC).
They bounced back from last week's home loss that knocked them from No. 1 by forcing the Blue Devils into their worst shooting night of the season and making a statement for a second chance at the top spot.
"Pittsburgh goes down, then we go down, then Duke I mean, whoever's No. 1, they've got a rude awakening," Teague said.
Wake Forest led nearly the entire way, before letting a late 13-point lead slip away and recovering just in time to claim the fifth victory over a top-ranked team in school history.
Kyle Singler had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Duke (18-2, 5-1), which had its 10-game winning streak snapped.
"I didn't think we had the aggressiveness or toughness that we've shown. Then, all of a sudden, we had so much of it, it was unbelievable," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Our kids played so hard to put themselves in a position to win."
Especially Gerald Henderson, who had 20 points including a jumper over Johnson with 10 seconds left that tied it at 68 and capped the Blue Devils' late 20-7 rally.
The Demon Deacons raced downcourt, with Teague and Aminu missing layups in traffic but during the rebound, Henderson was called for traveling. That gave the ball back to Wake Forest with 2.6 seconds left, and L.D. Williams inbounded it under the basket to Johnson, whose layup in the final second banked through to the delight of a juiced-up crowd at Joel Coliseum.
Singler's full-court inbounds pass for Henderson was tipped by Williams, and that sent Wake Forest's tie-dye-clad student section spilling onto the court for the second time this month. They whooped it up in similar fashion 2ฝ weeks ago when they knocked off then-No. 3 North Carolina.
Jon Scheyer had 13 points and David McClure finished with 12 rebounds for Duke, which was playing its first game as No. 1 since 2006 and wound up becoming the latest top-ranked team to fall in Winston-Salem.
"You give our coaching staff a whole week to prepare for you, we're going to have everything down pat," Teague said.
He scored 11 points 10 fewer than his average on 4-of-14 shooting for the Demon Deacons, who were playing for the first time since a loss to Virginia Tech a week earlier cost them the second No. 1 ranking in school history.
The sophomore point guard and breakout star did enough to improve to 2-0 in his career against the Blue Devils. Last season, he scored 26 points in the Demon Deacons' upset of then-No. 2 Duke. Wake Forest has won five of six meetings at Joel Coliseum.
"I really wasn't making any shots, but our team scored points," Teague said. "When you see Duke, you're always going to step up your game."
Henderson's jumper capped a remarkable rally for the Blue Devils, who trailed 61-48 with 8:49 remaining.
"There was a period there when we were going to get blown out of here not a great night for us," Krzyzewski said.
That changed because of Singler, who had 10 points during the burst that ended with a flurry in the final seconds.
Scheyer's 3-pointer from the corner over Johnson hit the front of the rim, but the Duke guard hustled for the rebound and called the Blue Devils' final timeout with 17.4 seconds left. Henderson inbounded the ball to McClure, who got it back to the swingman for his big jumper.
"That was my responsibility I should have had that," Johnson said.
Wake Forest took its first double-figure lead of the game after a pair of spectacular plays in the open court.
Johnson put the Demon Deacons up 54-43 with 11ฝ minutes left when his steal from Nolan Smith led to a breakaway dunk. That came seconds after Aminu's highlight-reel jam when he took a between-the-legs feed from Ishmael Smith.
"I almost didn't catch the ball, I was so amazed by the pass," Aminu said.
They later stretched their lead to 13 when David Weaver laid in Smith's alley-oop pass with 8:49 remaining to make it 61-48.
Weaver one of two Demon Deacons who are 6-foot-11 or taller to get in the game finished with nine critical points for Wake Forest.
The ACC's leader in both field-goal percentage categories on offense and defense shot 40 percent and held undersized Duke to a season-worst 33 percent shooting. The Blue Devils were just 4-of-22 from 3-point range.
"It was tough to score for both teams tonight," Krzyzewski said. "That's why a couple of the run-outs that we gave them that led to points were key."
That defense helped Wake Forest overcome a rare 47-43 rebounding disadvantage. The Blue Devils who used strong offensive rebounding to stay in the game early managed just three of their 15 offensive boards in the second half. The Demon Deacons outscored Duke 42-24 in the paint, a big reason why they improved to 5-24 all-time against No. 1.
"I knew we were going to win this game," Teague said.