Trevor Keels racked up a season-high 27 points and Paolo Banchero poured in 21 points as the freshmen paced No. 4 Duke to an 86-56 blowout of host Pittsburgh, picking up an Atlantic Coast Conference title along the way Tuesday night.
Duke (26-4, 16-3 ACC) clinched at worst a share of the regular-season championship and secured the No. 1 seed for next week’s ACC tournament. It’s Duke’s first ACC regular-season title since sharing the 2009-10 edition with now-former league member Maryland.
It is the 13th regular-season ACC crown for Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is retiring at season’s end and directed the Blue Devils for the last time in a true road game. His teams have compiled 201 all-time ACC road wins, marking a league record.
Keels went 5-for-8 on 3-point attempts and Banchero was 3-for-3 from long range. Wendell Moore Jr. had 13 points and AJ Griffin added 12 points for the Blue Devils, who made 11 of 22 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.
Duke takes a seven-game winning streak into its Saturday night regular-season finale against North Carolina.
John Hugley’s 19 points and Jamarius Burton’s 13 led Pittsburgh (11-19, 9-13), which has dropped three games in a row since a three-game winning string.
The Blue Devils wrapped up a three-game road swing. While Saturday night’s romp at Syracuse featured Krzyzewski against his longtime coaching friend Jim Boeheim, this matchup came against one of the Duke coach’s former players and associate head coaches. Jeff Capel is in charge of the Pittsburgh team.
For the second game in a row, the Blue Devils ran out to a large early advantage. They led 16-3 less than four minutes into the game.
Banchero and Keels combined for 20 of Duke’s first 25 points on the way to a 36-19 halftime edge.
Burton had nine of Pittsburgh’s points by the break, making four of his five shots from the field. The rest of the Panthers combined to shoot 4-for-24 in the opening half.
–Field Level Media