Duke routs Boston College to keep season alive

The Blue Devils will face Louisville on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Duke’s Mark Williams defends Boston College's CJ Felder during the Blue Devils' 86-51 rout of the Eagles in Tuesday's first round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. (Photo courtesy of The ACC)

GREENSBORO — Duke kept its season alive for one more day at least, blowing out Boston College 86-51 in the opening round of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday in Greensboro.

The 35-point win was the seventh-biggest margin of victory in ACC Tournament history and biggest since 1999.

After squeaking past Boston College in their lone regular season game, by one point in Durham, Duke put the game out of reach early, jumping to a 10-2 lead and never looking back. The Blue Devils led by 14 at the half and built a lead of as much as 37.

Duke lit things up from outside, hitting 15 3-pointers in the game, which is the fourth-most in ACC Tournament history (by any team) and the most in a tournament game since 2007.

Jordan Goldwire, the only Blue Devil player who had scored an ACC Tournament point before today, hit 4-of-6 from three to lead the Duke outside attack.

Duke moves on to face Louisville, who swept the regular season series from the Blue Devils, in a Wednesday evening second-round game.

Three thoughts

1. Duke was dominated inside in the first game against the Eagles, but the Blue Devils turned things around on Tuesday, thanks to Mark Williams, who played just six scoreless minutes in the regular season clash. Williams scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting as Duke won points in the paint 28-26 and second-chance points 16-6.

2. In the regular season game, Boston College hit 9 of 16 from three against the Duke defense, the best outside shooting night of the year for the Eagles. Duke held BC to 1 of 15 from outside on Tuesday.

3. Duke’s bench came up big, with Henry Coleman and Patrick Tapé putting up big minutes inside for the Blue Devils and each scoring four points. With Duke potentially needing to win five games in five days if it wants to make the NCAA Tournament, the Blue Devils will need some bench help.

Number to Know

32 to 29 — For just the second time this season, Duke took more 3-pointers than 2-pointers. The Blue Devils hit 15 of 32 from three, 17 of 29 from two. The previous time was in a win over Clemson. The walk-ons entered the game for Duke with 3 1/2 minutes left and scored several on the inside without taking a three. Otherwise, Duke might have had as many 3-point makes than 2-pointers for the first time since February 2019 at Virginia.

They Said It

“I hope we can carry it over. You never know about momentum.”

— Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski

Player of the Game

DJ Steward, Blue Devils — The freshman hit his first three 3-point attempts and finished with 17 points and four assists for the Blue Devils, helping to make up for an off night for leading scorer Matthew Hurt, who had just eight points.

Critical thinking

In addition to the prospect of winning five straight this week, Duke will be hitting the road for the tournament. Unhappy with the prospect of having 11 teams sharing one hotel, the Blue Devils opted to stay in Durham for the week, busing back and forth to their games each day.