Will’s Instant Reaction-Gonzaga 89, Duke 87

Will's Instant Reaction

When April comes around and we look back at the top games of the 2018-19 season this game will be on the short list. This was a fun game. You had Gonzaga jump out on Duke early and lead by as much as 16 points. Then, Duke roared back, thanks to some timely defense and key offensive shots.

There was one point where Gonzaga was shooting north of 60% for the game and Duke was shooting under 40%. You knew there was going to be some regression to the mean both ways. It certainly happened. But in the end, Gonzaga, despite trying to lose it at the free throw line won with some timely defense of their own. That defense forced Duke to miss their last seven shots of the game.

What you do like, if you’re a Duke fan, is that Tre Jones had a really good game. He had 17 points on 7-14 shooting but he kept driving to the basket and hitting floaters in the lane. Gonzaga couldn’t really stop him. Obviously you have to like what you saw from Zion Williamson. Williamson put up another double double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks.

The concern for Duke is R.J. Barrett playing hero ball. Sure, he had 25 points but he was 9-25 from the field and instead of passing when he should have he went for a low percentage shot. You’re hoping he will learn to get out of that before it causes problems.

Going forward, there won’t be many more opportunities for people to beat Duke going into conference play. Indiana could give them a game, but I don’t think they can hang with them.

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