In a game that ended with a raucous “A-C-C” chant from the Cameron Crazies, Duke edged Maryland, 69-67, in the final conference game between the two longtime foes. The game was tight throughout and came down to the wire, as Jabari Parker broke down the Maryland defense and finished with an authoritative dunk with 1:17 remaining to put Duke ahead for good. Parker came through again just over one minute later when he blocked what would have been the go-ahead layup for Maryland with five seconds left. Maryland center Charles Mitchell tried again on Maryland’s ensuing inbounds play, but Amile Jefferson was there to clean up the narrow miss and hold on to the ball to secure the Duke victory.
The game bookends a rivalry that ignited in 2001 when Duke upended the Terps, 98-96, in overtime on their home court. The series only became more heated later that season, as Maryland avenged their own home-court loss by taking down the Blue Devils, 91-80, in Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 27. As if that weren’t enough fuel to the fire, Duke and Maryland met again in the ACC Tournament (Duke won, 84-82), and once more in the NCAA Final Four (Duke won, 95-84, after rallying from a 22-point deficit). The memories are now etched in stone as Maryland bolts for the Big Ten after this season.
Snow Halts Duke-UNC Rivalry...Temporarily
It took one of the biggest snow storms Tobacco Road has seen in over a decade, but the greatest rivalry in all of college sports came to a temporary halt Wednesday when nearly 24 hours of ice and snow forced postponement of the Duke-North Carolina series. An onslaught of winter weather the Triangle in a bad way early Wednesday afternoon, and the first edition of this season’s Tobacco Road rivalry was a casualty. The game, which was scheduled to tip at 9 p.m. in Chapel Hill, was halted due to the snow and travel complications resulting from the weather – for Duke and fans alike. The game is rescheduled for this Thursday, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m. in the Dean Smith Center.
Duke Basketball Radio Show Set for Wednesday
Hosted by the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club throughout the season, the Duke Basketball Radio Show with associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski airs live this Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. on WDNC 620 The Buzz. Fans are invited to join Wojciechowski on location in the Bull Durham Bar at the Washington Duke Inn or watch the show live on GoDuke.com. The Duke Basketball Radio Show is a production of the Blue Devil Sports Network from IMG College and features Wojciechowski and special appearances by players and prominent college basketball figures. Art Chase, Duke assistant director of athletics for external relations, co-hosts the show alongside Wojciechowski.
Blue Devils Prep For Gauntlet
Beginning with yesterday’s 69-67 over Maryland, Duke will embark on an NCAA Tournament-style gauntlet that includes four games in eight days, three of which are on the road. With the postponement of this past Wednesday’s North Carolina matchup, the Tobacco Road rivalry has not been moved to this Thursday, Feb. 20, which means Duke plays Maryland on Saturday, Feb. 15; at Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 18; at North Carolina on Thursday, Feb. 20; and against Syracuse at home on Feb. 22. That will be the most games Duke has played in an eight-day span all season and includes perhaps the most difficult back-to-back competitions, with only three days separating the North Carolina and No. 1 Syracuse contests. For what it’s worth, Duke is 4-0 this season when playing on just one full day of rest.
ACC Announces Time Change For Feb. 22 Syracuse Game
The rematch against No. 1 Syracuse, scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 22, at Cameron Indoor Stadium, had had its tipoff time pushed back one hour to 7 p.m. The game will air on ESPN. Mark your calendars and adjust your watch party plans accordingly.
Parker Sweeps ACC Weekly Awards
Jabari Parker is going to need a new trophy case soon, and it’s not even tournament time. The highlight reel-producing Duke freshman swept the ACC’s weekly awards this past week, receiving ACC Player and Freshman of the Week accolades following a week that included averages of 25.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in wins over Wake Forest and Boston College. He shot 74.1 percent (20-of-27) from the field while adding five blocks, two assists and two steals in the two-game set. Included in that stretch were a career-best performance against Boston College in which he amassed career highs of 29 points, 16 rebounds and 12 made field goals. That production sparked a run of three consecutive 20-point games for Parker.
Irving Makes First All-Star Game Start, Collects MVP Honors
Kyrie Irving, an all-star game starter for the first time in his career, put on a show in the 2014 NBA All-Star game, bringing the crowd to its feet with several lob passes, twisting layups, pull-up jumpers and three-point bombs. He led the East to a come-from-behind win finishing with 31 points, five rebounds and a game-high 14 assists to grab NBA All-Star Game MVP honors. In a nice Duke moment, newly crowned NBA commissioner and Duke graduate Adam Silver made the announcement of Irving's MVP selection.
Irving's series of highlight reel plays down the stretch began with a step-back baseline jumper over Steph Curry and a slick one-handed scoop shot in the lane over Dwight Howard after breaking down the Houston center with a series of crossover dribbles. He continued to dazzle the crowd with an up-and-under layup around Anthony Davis and another step-back jumper with under nine minutes left in the game. Irving gave the East its first lead of the fourth quarter, 148-147, on a hesitation move layup and added another twisting layup in traffic with just over three minutes remaining to cut the West lead in half.
Irving added a three-point field goal with 2:11 left to give the East a 153-152 lead before Kevin Durant answered his bomb with one of his own a short time later. Irving continued to make winning plays with an offensive rebound and feed to Carmelo Anthony for a three-point field goal to give the East at 159-155 lead with 1:01 left to play. On the next offensive possession, Irving exploded through a pack of defenders before finding LeBron James for a streaking layup to help seal the victory. For good measure, when the game ended on a Chris Paul three-point attempt, the ball caromed off the rim and directly to Irving as the buzzer sounded.
Irving was outstanding in the second half of play, recording 24 points and seven assists to lead the East to a 163-155 win. The West led by as many as 18 points in the second half before Irving and company mounted the come back. Anthony set an NBA All-Star Game record with eight three-point field goals and finished with 30 points, while James added 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
The West was led by Jeff Capel disciple Blake Griffin, who racked up 38 points on 19-of-23 shooting. Durant also put up 38 points to go along with 10 rebounds and six assists.
Irving became the second youngest player in NBA history to claim All-Star game honors. Last year, he won the NBA Three-Point Shootout and Rookie-Sophomore game MVP accolades during all-star weekend.
Irving Unable to Defend Three-Point Title
Kyrie Irving totaled 17 points in the opening round of the NBA Three-Point Contest but was unable to advance as Washington’s Bradley Beal posted 21 points in round one to advance for the Eastern Conference. Beal continued to put on a shooting display knocking down his final six shots in the finals to match Marco Belinelli’s point total of 19. Belinell secure the three-point title in the next round by making his final 10 shots and collecting 24 points.
Plumlees Take Part in BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge
Miles Plumlee got the win despite younger brother Mason filling the stat sheet in a six-point loss at the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. Team Hill, drafted by Duke legend Grant Hill, posted a 142-136 victory Friday night in New Orleans.
Detroit's Andre Drummond collected MVP honors with a monster performance of 30 points and 25 rebounds, including 14 offensive boards, for Team Hill. Miles Plumlee recorded four points on 2-of-2 shooting to go along with three rebounds and a blocked shot in just over 15 minutes of action to help Team Hill to the win.
Mason Plumlee came off the bench for Team Webber and missed his first two shots before settling in. He went on to make 10 of his next 11 shots to finish with 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Mason also added seven rebounds, a game-high four steals and a blocked shot in just under 19 minutes of action. Mason was particularly strong down the stretch scoring six points in the final two minutes of play to keep Team Webber within striking distance.
The Plumlee brothers were often matched up against one another in the contest with the tandem contributing to one of the more impressive athletic plays in the game. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the contest, Miles met Anthony Davis (New Orleans) at the peak of a dunk attempt for a block only to have Mason pick the loose ball out of the air and gently lay it in on the opposite side of the hoop.
Check out the highlights here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3iRdTJEj8
Curry Competes in NBDL Futures-Prospects Game
Seth Curry was also in action in New Orleans over the weekend playing in the NBDL All-Star game. The Charlotte, N.C. native tallied 10 points, four rebounds and seven assists for the Futures team in a 145-142 loss to the Prospects. Curry, a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors, entered the All-Star break averaging 19.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
The Nate James Effect (IndyWeek.com)
Blue Devils look like a new team of late (ESPN.com)
Grant Hill talks about this year’s Duke team (SBNation.com)
Tough Stretch Ahead for Blue Devils (Raleigh News & Observer)
Duke-UNC: Winter weather forces historic postponement (Charlotte Observer)
Tweet of the Week
Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver)
J.PARKER JUST TOOK SOMEONE LUNCH MONEY..... wow!!!!
What an experience!! Blessed and honored I could be out there with all the great players and play for fans everywhere. #thankyou