Duke visited Clemson in Littlejohn for a rematch after the taut thriller in Cameron in late January. No thriller this time: Duke won 82-64. The biggest talking point from this game is going to be the brutal takedown David Collins put on Wendell Moore on a breakaway dunk and whether or not he should be suspended by the ACC.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Collins ran under Moore on a breakaway layup as he was dunking, which led to Moore nearly landing on his neck. It drew gasps from the assembled and condemnation from a wide variety of Twitter figures like Rex Chapman, who said it was worth fighting over, and reporters Jeff Goodman and Brett Friedlander, who both called for suspension.
Our initial reaction was damn! What a dirty play! But we’ve learned to wait and see what people say. Immediately after it happened, Collins and Clemson coach Brad Brownell went over to the Duke bench to apologize to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who ended up embracing Collins.
Duke was hit with a T after the play – so was Clemson – and the bench was ready to erupt. But clearly Coach K calmed down and accepted the apology so we should probably wait to hear what is said.
But he should still get a suspension, regardless of intent, because of the sheer danger of the play.
Not that it helped Clemson. He was ejected which put the Tigers down two starters. Already small, Duke just ground Clemson down in the second half, a half in which Trevor Keels scored 23 (he finished with 25). Keels also got 11 boards.
Mark Williams took advantage of Clemson’s smalls to shot 8-8 for 16 points. Paolo Banchero didn’t shoot well but finished with 15 points and 10 boards. And Moore, who took such a brutal fall, finished with eight assists and zero turnovers.
It wasn’t a pretty game in a lot of respects, not least of all the hit on Moore, but it is a win and Duke moves back into first place by virtue of a tiebreaker with Notre Dame. The Blue Devils are also now 20-4, which is pretty solid. Jim will be along soon with his take.
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