The destruction of Virginia by Duke elevates the Blue Devils to a new level that no other college basketball team can match – CBS Sports • cbssports.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia. – duke season, its ceiling, its tantalizing and terrifying potential were taken to another level on Saturday night in this 81-71 sidewipe of # 3 Virginia.

Authorize The Most Ridiculous University Basketball GIF Of The Season Until Now – Zion Williamson Nightcrawler-esque the materialization and subsequent blocking of De & Andre Hunter – to serve as a visually poetic and metaphorical incarnation of the catapult taken by the Blue Devils on Saturday night.

It's absurd to the point of being comic.

Yes, Duke's victory over Virginia was an exclamation marked by the latest and best evidence that Williamson has no reason to play college basketball. That there is physical nonsense. One night during which Duke set a season high for the 3 pointers (13) and a season high for a 3-point accuracy (61.9%), the Williamson wreck in the third row of tribunes was another layer torn and exposing. how incredible this team can be.

"There are probably two people in the world who can play this role, and they were both in the gym," said Virginia coach Tony Bennett, referring to the fact that Williamson's performance has arrived while LeBron James was next to teammate Lakers, Rajon Rondo and others of his management team at Klutch Sports.

Bennett might not be right, by the way. Fifteen seasons in a NBA career, I'm not sure if James can now do what we see Williamson do above. He could once, for sure. But even if he can not now, it is legendary to know that the king was sitting nearby when Duke went up higher and Williamson, along with RJ Barrett, Tre Jones and Cam Reddish, combined for 74 points in the Duke's most impressive victory the season.

"He sent me a text today to tell me that he could be here," Krzyzewski said of James' surprise. "He is welcome at any time."

Strong flex! But agree, coach K. OK. (Let's not forget that James' son, Bronny, is already being discussed as a potential priority target for Duke.Bronny's promotion will take place in 2023.)

While Williamson's game automatically goes to the top of his already drunk NBA Draft Highlighting through 22 games as Blue Devil, the big takeaway here has to be the 3-point display. Aberration or augure? What's surprising about this match is that Virginia's highest-ranked defense with 3 points (24.7% by Saturday) was unable to contain a team that ranked 315th in a row. depth, only achieving 30.8% of the goals.

"It's the best shot from point 3 and obviously it's a huge difference," Krzyzewski said.

It's all the difference. This is the dividing line. Duke being a final contender in the national / title title opposite Duke, he is unbeatable in the realm where the Blue Devils are making more than 45% of their 3 points – forget about the whiplash they've had up to now. Saturday night.

Duke coaches would not have seen this coming, but at one point we were expecting the 3-point shot to start for this group. Duke's assistant head coach, Jon Scheyer, told me prior to Saturday's game that the Blue Devils were a much better shooting team than they had shown the major part of the season, and that the problems of this team from the bottom were rather inexplicable. If that's true, what Duke did at Virginia in Charlottesville is even harder to explain.

How about this: Duke Loses 81 points is the most points scored against Virginia at home since Tony Bennett became the Cavaliers' coach in 2009.

Virginia goalkeeper Kyle Guy said, "When they reach 13 3, they will be hard to beat."

Difficult? Let's just settle on impossible. Duke was officially seeded No. 1 on Saturday when the selection committee unveiled its annual annual look at the top 16 seeds of college basketball. Duke's victory was a categorical reinforcement. Everyone is now on the hunt – Virginia included.

And no, let's not throw the Cavaliers out of the Final Four or the national title simply because their only two losses of the season have been inflicted at the hands of the biggest team in college basketball. Virginia could be the second best team in college basketball. Since the start of the 2010-11 season, no team has fired as well as Duke (57.8%) on UVA. Keep this in mind too. It was more duke than Virginia who was too good. Ty Jerome, who has always played the role of starting point guard, played well – but later admitted that the drugs he needed to be fully capable in this one were starting to fade and that he was exhausted.

It's funny to see how the preparation and glimpses of these great games sometimes create scenarios, like how many people thought Duke would try to dominate again inside. It did not happen Virginia had a good presence on the way, but all this left early, once Duke scored his first five 3 points and that atmosphere inside John Paul Jones Arena has become blurred.

"I do not think it's something I've done," Krzyzewski said about the performance and the 3-point assault. "But my players have felt it.I have good players.Maybe this little room has benefited without any kind of coach.Very good players, they sometimes give to coaches a beautiful appearance and intelligence. "

The college basketball season has begun at a time like this, something that feels defined, a result that gives us a team to put on another level.

Saturday night was a crescendo to that. We now know that the gap between Duke and the team you want to rank second is big enough for a few Zions to pass. No lack of respect to Tennessee, Gonzaga, UVA or someone else. What we saw Saturday night is Duke in full power mode. If you followed college basketball all season, you know it's true: no one can compete with that.

The funny problem for Duke will now be the following: can the Blue Devils be up to the challenge? This is not because it happened once we are sure to see it again, at least not to that extent. But by the end of Duke's season, we know the threat exists. The threat is the treatment that will intrigue us all.

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