CLEMSON, S.C. – Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout in the final minute, gathered his beaten Blue Devils around him and let them listen as the Littlejohn Coliseum crowd celebrated a Clemson win like few others.
"They shouldn't forget this loss," Krzyzewski said. "This is as bad as you can play."
Trevor Booker scored 21 points and Terrence Oglesby had five 3-pointers in the 10th-ranked Tigers' 74-47 victory over No. 4 Duke.
Krzyzewski, typically a bright-side coach, found nothing satisfying about this defeat. The Blue Devils (19-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) hadn't had a loss like this since the 1990 NCAA title game when UNLV beat the Blue Devils 103-73.
Kryzyzewski and his team stored that away and responded by winning the next two NCAA championships.
"What you take from anything," he said, "is the responsibility of what you've done."
"There are no excuses," he said.
For Clemson (19-2, 5-2), it was further proof this is a far different club.
It's different from the one two years ago that opened 17-0 yet failed to make the NCAAs tournament. It's different from the one three weeks ago that fell apart in an earlier top 10 showdown, falling 78-68 to Wake Forest.
"I've said all along you get better as a team by taking lessons from seasons before, from games before," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "You'd like for all those lessons to be positive, but sometimes you've got to learn from losses.
"I thought that really applied tonight," he continued. "I thought we were ready for this atmosphere, we embraced it. Yet we narrowed our focus to what we needed to do to beat Duke."
And that was an end-to-end defense that disrupted the Blue Devils.
"It was 40 minutes of them dominating," Krzyzewski said. "They just kicked our butts."
Clemson used a 20-8 run over the last 8 minutes of the first half to take a 33-21 lead. The Tigers kept extending the lead until the final buzzer.
"It's going to be tough to top that," Booker said. "We just played great. ... They quit at the end. We just got the job done."
Duke had won 22 straight over Clemson — most in blowout fashion — since the Tigers won three straight in the series in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.
The Blue Devils' run of success ended last March in the ACC tournament semifinals when Clemson beat them 78-74. Booker and the Tigers made sure the regular-season streak ended at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Unlike last week when they fought back from 13 points down to tie Wake Forest in the final minute before losing 70-68, the Blue Devils had no response to Clemson's relentless attack.
Booker's two-handed jam with 8:16 left put Clemson up 61-39 — and the began at Littlejohn.
Fans mobbed the court when it was finished, joyously celebrating what they hadn't watched here since 1997 — a Clemson win over Duke.
It was Clemson's biggest blowout of Duke since 1975, a 100-66 home victory.
Oglesby finished with 17 points and K.C. Rivers tied a Clemson record with seven steals.
Krzyzewski spent most of the second half in his seat, hands over his mouth. Three times he subbed his entire squad to find a spark, but the Blue Devils never got closer than 20 points over the last 9 minutes.
It was Duke's fewest points this season, and its lowest scoring performance since a 54-51 win over Indiana in 2006.
The loss at Wake Forest dropped Duke from No. 1. This defeat might show the rest of the ACC what happens when you press the Blue Devils from start to finish.
The Tigers' defense began to wear down the usually unflappable Blue Devils
Lance Thomas tied things up at 13-all with 12:03 remaining. That's when Clemson took off on an 20-8 run to close the half.
The Blue Devils hit only three of their final 12 shots of the half, an 8-minute stretch where they committed seven of their 11 first-half turnovers.
One of the ACC's most productive 3-point-shooting teams with almost seven a game, Duke was ice cold the first 20 minutes going 1-of-6 behind the arc. They finished 3-of-13 on 3s.