Everything appeared to be coming together for the Duke Blue Devils at just the right time heading into this year’s NCAA Tournament.
They had won 10 in a row since their last loss, which came on the road against Virginia.
They rolled through the ACC Tournament, taking out 3 teams that qualified for March Madness along the way to the title.
Then they demolished Oral Roberts in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 in a game that was expected to be competitive.
During the 10 game winning streak, the Blue Devils started to get going on offense, topping 80 points multiple times during the run.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, that hot streak came to a halt today.
In their second matchup at this year’s tournament, Duke ran into Tennessee.
The Volunteers struggled to get past Louisiana in their first matchup at the tournament, winning by just 3 points.
Today they were a whole lot more convincing. Behind an absolutely stellar defensive effort, Tennessee prevailed over Duke by a score of 65-52.
Those 52 points by the Blue Devils tied a school record for the least ever scored by Duke in an NCAA Tournament game.
Duke scored just 52 points in its loss to Tennessee, tied for its fewest in an NCAA Tournament game in the program’s history.
Duke scored 52 in a win against Pennsylvania in 1980. pic.twitter.com/wkfe3dcl4x
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 18, 2023
It was a great all-around effort from Tennessee on the defensive end of the floor. They forced 15 turnovers. They limited Duke to just 6 offensive rebounds. They held the Blue Devils to shooting 27.3% from 3 and 42.9% from the field.
It brings an end to Jon Scheyer’s first year in charge of the Blue Devils after Coach K’s retirement.
Tying a record like this certainly isn’t how you want your first season to end, but Scheyer gave Duke fans plenty of hope for the future by claiming that ACC Tournament title and getting an NCAA Tournament win in year 1.