Consolation prize: Clemson knocks off No. 3 Duke in hoops

What a wild trip the previous 4 days had been for Clemson lovers.

The Tigers beat No. Three Duke 79-72 on Tuesday evening to sandwich wins over the Atlantic Coast Convention’s basketball blue bloods round Monday’s loss within the Faculty Soccer Playoff identify sport.

Tuesday evening’s win over the Blue Devils was once the highest-profile disenchanted for the Tigers (Nine-7, Three-Three ACC) since they beat No. 1 North Carolina on their house courtroom in February 2001. And similar to that day, students rushed the court at Littlejohn Coliseum.

On Saturday, Clemson beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the primary time in program historical past, finishing a 59-game shedding streak at the Tar Heels’ house courtroom and surroundings off a locker room celebration that gave the impression of the aftermath of an NCAA Match win. The Tigers have received 3 in a row since falling underneath .500 in a Dec. 31 loss to Miami.

“2020 is beginning to really feel like our 12 months,” mentioned Aamir Simms, who led Clemson with a career-high 25 issues.

The Blue Devils (15-2, Five-1 ) got here into the sport as 10 1/2-point favorites and have been main the country with a median margin of victory of 21.Five issues. Duke had no longer misplaced since a shocking house defeat to Stephen F. Austin in November.

Clemson lovers, stung by way of the soccer Tigers’ first loss in 30 video games — a 42-25 defeat in opposition to LSU Monday evening on the Superdome in New Orleans — stopped moping lower than 24 hours later. Duke by no means had a larger lead than Four-Zero and Clemson led for greater than 28 mins.

Simms and Tevin Mack, who scored 22 issues, stored dragging Duke’s large males across the perimeter.

“We attempted to transport their guys round so much. They have got numerous measurement,” Clemson trainer Brad Brownell mentioned.

That spread out the lane for Clemson’s offense. Seventeen of the Tigers’ 30 baskets have been layups or dunks — together with one by way of John Newman III that was so nasty it were given a shout-out on Twitter from Magic Johnson.

“Simms was once impressive this night in how he managed the sport,” Duke trainer Mike Krzyzewski mentioned.

Clemson led 40-33 at halftime and stretched the result in 9 issues sooner than Duke rallied. The Blue Devils led 62-59 with 6:40 final.

That is when Clemson took keep watch over with a 14-Three run, together with 8 issues from Simms. His three-point play made it 73-65 with 2:16 final.

Mack completed 10 of 14 from the sector. Simms was once virtually as environment friendly, taking pictures 10 of 15, and he had 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

Vernon Carey Jr. scored 20 issues for Duke and Tre Jones had 17.


Duke: The Blue Devils’ protection, ball keep watch over and unfastened throws betrayed them. Clemson shot 56.6%, some distance higher than any person else in opposition to Duke this season. Duke additionally grew to become the ball over 15 occasions and made simply 10 of 20 unfastened throws.

Clemson: The obituaries for the Tigers’ season written after a 73-68 time beyond regulation loss to Miami have been untimely. Clemson has received 3 in a row, taking pictures no less than 43% in each and every sport. And beating North Carolina and Duke back-to-back is each and every ACC fan’s dream.


Clemson has most effective crushed North Carolina and Duke in back-to-back video games as soon as sooner than — in 1990 on methods to the Tigers’ most effective regular-season identify in 67 ACC seasons.

Upload the win Jan. Four over North Carolina State and Clemson has crushed the 3 ACC groups from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill space in consecutive video games for the primary time since 1967. The Wolfpack win got here between victories over the Blue Devils and Tar Heels that 12 months.


Duke’s Joey Baker overlooked Tuesday’s sport with a sprained proper ankle.

Krzyzewski mentioned the Blue Devils overlooked extra from the sophomore than simply his seven issues a sport. He additionally averages 15 mins, spelling Jones and and others in key stretches.

“No longer having what we’ve got had hurts us. And we are not going to have it for somewhat bit,” mentioned Krzyzewski, who is not certain if Baker will go back for Saturday’s sport in opposition to No. 11 Louisville.


No longer most effective did Brownell beat the highest-ranked staff in his 10 years at Clemson on Tuesday evening, he additionally become the winngest trainer in Tigers historical past.

It was once Brownell’s 178th victory, passing Cliff Ellis.

“I am venerated. There were numerous just right coaches right here,” Brownell mentioned.


Duke were given jumped by way of Baylor on this week’s AP Most sensible 25 to fall to 3rd. The Blue Devils will most probably drop additional.


Duke: The Blue Devils host No. 11 Louisville on Saturday with first position within the ACC at the line.

Clemson: The Tigers tackle their fourth of 5 North Carolina-based ACC groups in a row after they head to North Carolina State on Saturday. Clemson hasn’t ever performed 5 North Carolina groups consecutively in a single season.

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