Duke escaped Virginia on Saturday night in thrilling fashion after Blue Devils sophomore star Grayson Allen hit the game’s final shot to lift unranked Duke past No. 7 Virginia.
But watch the video closely. Did Allen travel? He takes two steps, then appears to plant his third step just before releasing the ball. By rule, that’s of course a travel.
Nevertheless there was no walk called, and the review only could be made to determine if Allen got the ball out of his hands in time, which he clearly did. The bucket was Duke’s first from the field since the six-minute mark of the second half.
Ball still in Grayson Allen’s hand as his foot comes back down. @MattNorlander @GaryParrishCBS pic.twitter.com/LIWxR5Fu8w
— George Wishart (@GWBiscuit) February 13, 2016
In fairness to the play, you could easily argue a blocking charge against Virginia could have been called in that scenario — yet no whistle was blown. So there were two violations at play here, yet the officials opted to let it play out. Duke conspirators have their latest evidence to go wild over.
UVA coach Tony Bennett on this postgame handshake exchange with K on Allen’s winner. TB: “I think he traveled.” K: “I think he got fouled.”
— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2016
Bennett also said the exchange was in a jocular manner between the coaches, which is nice to see.
The 63-62 win (which came on Mike Krzyzewski’s 69th birthday) will almost certainly vault Duke back into the rankings come Monday. Allen finished 15 points, while freshman teammate Brandon Ingram had 25 — including a stretch in which he scored 18 straight for Duke. Allen’s controversial winner is going to become the story, but before all of that, Ingram went absolutely nuts. He had one of the best games of his season, finishing off UVa on a number of possessions with an assortment of moves.
Also, Allen’s winner made good on him missing two foul shots on the previous possession, when Duke led 61-60 with 27.3 to go. This was eyebrow-raising because Allen entered Saturday as an 86-percent free throw shooter. And he misses two late? Odd.
So that happened, then Malcolm Brogdon (team-high 18 points) made this crazy no-look, over-the-shoulder reverse layup that put Virginia up. If Allen is called for the travel or if he misses that last shot, Brogdon’s winner is just as lauded. It was a great move.
Virginia’s curse at Cameron continues. The Cavs have not won at Duke in 21 years, going 0 for 17 in that span. And now the ACC has a real logjam near the top. Notre Dame’s win at Louisville means both those teams, plus Duke (19-6) and Virginia (20-5) have four league losses.
Duke’s now won nine straight at home against ranked teams. Next up: The Blue Devils head to Chapel Hill on Wednesday to face blood rival, No. 9 North Carolina.