#1 Duke downs Texas, Advances to PK80 Tournament Championship

(Photo Credits: Craig Mitchelldyer/AP)

In a game that started out with a Texas run and a Texas team holding its lead, it saw Duke fight all the way back and win in OT without one of their key stars.

The Duke Blue Devils had basically a warm up game against Portland State in the first round of the tournament (Carter Jr. 16 pts, 10 reb, Bagley III 18 pts, 15 reb) with a 99-81 win.

Today the Blue Devils had another test but this test was a little stronger as they had the previously undefeated Texas Longhorns. The Texas Longhorns are led by Freshman stud Mohamed Bamba and a core of very solid players. Bamba had back to back 10+ rebound games and 4+ block games to go along with those boards.

Duke is led by a returning star in Grayson Allen along with a trio of Freshman led by Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr. and Gary Trent Jr. Bagley has dominated the NCAA with a average of a double-double (averages 19 pts/10 reb), while Carter and Trent average 10+ points. Carter being .8 of a rebound away from also averaging a double-double.

This game was also literally dominated by Bagley as he lead Duke with 34 points and 15 rebounds. The Blue Devils were missing their veteran influence late in the game as Grayson Allen only played 25 minutes after fouling out.

Both teams had foul trouble and it hurt the Texas Longhorns the most. Duke battled back to tie the game and they missed on a near buzzer beater to end regulation. At the end of regulation was when the problems began, Texas lost one of their best players and best big men in Mohamed Bamba after fouling out with about 20 seconds left in the game. Then after Texas forced OT, their last big man left Jericho Sims fouled out.

After Sims fouled out, the problems insued. Texas was forced to use Matt Coleman and Kerwin Roach in the post against Marvin Bagley. Which was an instant mismatch and led to domination by Bagley in the post.

Duke will play the winner of Florida vs. Gonzaga for the championship of the PK80 tournament.

Texas will play the loser of Florida vs. Gonzaga for 3rd place of the PK80 tournament.

 

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(Photo Credits: http://pkinvitational.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/pk80-brackets.pdf)

 

 

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