Rushed Reactions: #4 Duke 71, #12 Yale 64

Posted by Chris Stone on March 19th, 2016

Rush the Court will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of each of the NCAA Tournament from each of the 13 sites this year. Follow our NCAA Tourney specific Twitter accounts at @RTCEastregion, @RTCMWregion,@RTCSouthregion and @RTCWestregion.

Three Key Takeaways:

Grayson Allen Led Duke to Coach K's 23rd Sweet Sixteen (USA Today Images)

Grayson Allen Led Duke to Coach K’s 23rd Sweet Sixteen (USA Today Images)

  1. Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram are a potent one-two punch. After an opening round victory that saw Marshall Plumlee score 23 points, Allen and Ingram accounted for 76 percent of Duke’s offensive production in scoring a combined 54 points in the second round win. With two legitimate number one scoring options, the Blue Devils can weather dips in production from the rest of their roster. They certainly did so today.
  2. Duke still hasn’t sorted out its defensive identity. The Blue Devils’ defense actually delivered in the first half against Yale, holding the Bulldogs to 0.81 points per possession before the intermission. However, after halftime adjustments were made, the Blue Devils struggled to slow their opponent down. The Bulldogs scored 1.15 points per possession in the second half as Duke was forced into the 1-3-1 zone that it had to rely on to knock them off back in November. That’s not necessarily a great sign against a Yale offense that ranks 79th in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom.
  3. Yale’s seniors showed up when they were needed most. While Brandon Sherrod put together a 10-point first half, it took him 10 shots to get there and fellow senior Justin Sears was held scoreless during the first 20 minutes. Sherrod and Sears, though, keyed the Bulldogs second half run, scoring a combined 24 points and pulling down 13 rebounds as Yale pulled within three of the Blue Devils at one point. It was an impressive final outing for both seniors.

Star Of The Game: Grayson Allen. The Duke sophomore scored 29 points, including 22 in a first half in which the Blue Devils built a 23-point halftime lead. Allen was contained a bit in the second half, but his early production was critical to Duke’s victory.


  • “We have 20 more minutes to make a statement.” Justin Sears, on what Yale’s seniors were thinking at halftime.
  • “I was going back to practice. Coach Scheyer yesterday made me shoot about 100 free throws on that same end.” Brandon Ingram, on what was going through his head during his late free throws.
  • “People always believe in miracles at this time and they don’t believe they’re ever out of it and what that produces is miracles.” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, on March Madness comebacks.

Sights And Sounds: When Yale’s Anthony Dallier knocked down a three-pointer with 15:13 remaining in the game, it felt like a rather irrelevant bucket to most, but one Yale fan sitting near the floor exclaimed, “Here we go! It’s down to 19!” His energy only grew from there, as the Bulldogs would go on a 15-0 run to trim Duke’s lead to seven before getting within three late, giving the Providence crowd its second exciting finish of the day.

What’s Next: Duke moves on to the regional semifinals in Louisville to face the winner of Oregon-St. Joseph’s. Both potential opponents feature top 25 offenses that could have some fun with the Blue Devils’ porous defense.

Chris Stone (136 Posts)

Chris Stone is a contributor to the Big 12 microsite. You can find him on Twitter @cstonehoops.

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