The last time the Virginia Cavaliers beat the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, not a single current Cavalier was alive; Nigel Johnson would be born six days later.
But on Saturday afternoon, UVA exorcised 23 years of demons. Four Hoos scored in double figures en route to a 65-63 victory over the fourth-ranked Blue Devils.
Kyle Guy led Virginia with 17 points, with Devon Hall adding 14, Ty Jerome chipping in 13, and 12 more coming from DeAndre Hunter. Marvin Bagley III scored 30 to lead all scorers; Duke’s only other player with more than ten was Wendell Carter, Jr.
Virginia took a 10-point lead into halftime behind 10 points from Guy and nine more from Hall. Two early fouls limited Isaiah Wilkins to just three minutes on the floor in the opening half. But even without Wilkins, the Hoos held the vaunted Duke offense to a paltry .667 points per possession in the first half. Only four Blue Devils scored in the first stanza—none of whom were Grayson Allen—and Duke did not hit a single three-point shot, while committing eight turnovers.
And this was how the first half ended, as Gary Trent, Jr. heaved a prayer toward the basket.
HALF: #UVA 32, Duke 22 pic.twitter.com/Gc6py5sVTk— Paul Wiley (@PaulWileyVA) January 27, 2018
Krzyzewski switched Duke to a 2-3 zone to start the second half and sparked a burst from the Blue Devils. UVA missed four of its first five shots and Duke scored more points in the first three minutes of the second half than it did in the final seven minutes of the first. Tony Bennett took a timeout to regroup the Hoos as Duke closed the UVA lead to six.
Duke’s first three-point shot came on a Trent, Jr. shot with 15 to play in the second half. UVA moved Ty Jerome into the soft spot of the zone at the other end and he fed Jack Salt for a baseline slam.
An absolutely bizarre sequence followed on Duke’s next possession. Salt was defending Wendell Carter, Jr. at the top of the key, with Wilkins on Bagley III underneath. Carter lobbed a toss in toward Bagley III that was so far off target ... it went through the hoop. But a whistle and a wave-off indicated that Wilkins was being called for undercutting Bagley III under the basket while the ball was in the air. After the timeout, however, the basket was counted while the foul on Wilkins stood.
Duke took its first lead since 14:25 of the first half on a jumper by Bagley III with 12:30 to play. Salt responded with a three-point play, but Allen found a ghost defender on the baseline, drew a phantom foul while hitting a runner, and put Duke back on top. Back-and-forth play over the next several minutes sent the Blue Devils into the under-8 media timeout with a 51-48 lead.
Hunter slashed to the rim for a lay-in that gave Virginia a 55-53 lead at 4:57. But as he landed, his foot came off the side of Carter, Jr.’s, and Hunter had to be helped to the bench by Ethan Saliba and Jason Williford. Bagley III slammed home an alley-oop, Hall hit a runner in the lane, and the final media timeout of the game saw Virginia hold a two-point lead, 57-55.
Guy stroked a three and got Virginia up 60-55. Duke then entered the double bonus with 2:27 to play, and with only four team fouls on their side of the ledger. Trevon Duval attempted a length-of-the-court feed off a Guy missed three, but Jerome jumped in front of the pass to give possession back to UVA.
Jerome—pure freon coursing through his veins—calmly brought the Hoos up the court, and stroked a three-point bomb to put his squad up five with 39 seconds left.
.@UVAMensHoops' Ty Jerome with ICE in his veins! ❄️ #MustSeeACC pic.twitter.com/tQWL3ag0Nx— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 27, 2018
A desperation Bagley III three with eight seconds left pulled Duke back within two. But Allen fouled Guy in the corner, and the Indiana native calmly sank both. The four-point lead was cut in half by another Bagley III tip-in at the buzzer—too little, too late.
The win was not just historic in the chronicles of the Duke-Virginia series, but in college basketball overall. Only two other schools had ever beaten Duke in a top-five matchup at Cameron Indoor since 1948.
Virginia snaps a 17-game road losing streak at Duke with a 65-63 win, the first win for @UVAMensHoops there since Jan. 14, 1995.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 27, 2018
This is the 4th time that a visiting team won a top-5 matchup at Duke in the AP Poll Era (since 1948-49). pic.twitter.com/DmqRYAByXn
Duke raised its offensive efficiency to .955 points per possession thanks to 1.242 points per trip in the second half. But Virginia’s defense proved itself once more, with the final Duke efficiency coming in .29 points per possession below its season average.
UVA remains undefeated in ACC play, while Duke drops to 6-3. The Hoos return to play on Wednesday with a home tilt against the Louisville Cardinals.