Zion Williamson just made the most incredible block

Tanya Simon
February 11, 2019

The No. 2 Duke Blue Devils beat the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers 81-71 behind a 26-point performance by RJ Barrett.

In the most anticipated game of the weekend, No. 3 Virginia plays host to No. 2 Duke tonight at 6PM ET.

Duke's greatest weakness this season has been outside shooting, but the Blue Devils were on fire in Charlottesville.

Virginia has only one flaw on its schedule so far this season.

"We plugged the gaps and we probably were in there a little long and they hit deep shots", Bennett said. De'Andre Hunter is leading the team with 14.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. "But we just tried to keep playing our game".

Williamson put together a highlight-reel block late in the second half.

The Blue Devils play at No. 16 Louisville on Tuesday night before a home game with N.C. State on Saturday.

Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome each scored 16 to lead Virginia (20-2, 8-2), which plays the No. 8 Tar Heels on Monday night. "So he and I are really good friends. We did a much better job in the gap, and they didn't get as many driving lanes, but when you hit thirteen three's you're going to be hard to beat". The 7-foot-1 redshirt sophomore made a three-pointer and delivered a pass into a tight window to Braxton Key for a layup that trimmed the deficit to 54-49 with 12:19 to play.

Duke: Williamson is the player that everyone seems to focus on in pregame warmups because of his physical gifts, but it's Barrett that leads the Blue Devils in scoring (23 points per game to Williamson's 22 entering the game).

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Despite Duke's blistering start, Virginia was within 41-37 early in the second half.

Bennett thought his team might have over-adjusted by focusing too much on trying to close off the inside, but his counterpart, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, thought it was at least as much a case of his own players recognizing the strategy change. "It was really kind of neat to see the kids step up that way".

The momentum of Virginia's rousing finish to the first half failed to carry over coming out of the locker room. Virginia began the day first nationally in 3-point defense at 24.7 percent and hadn't allowed more than eight made 3s in a game this season. Here's a look at a few of the best reactions that poured in after Williamson's block during the Duke win.

Virginia made several pushes only to be rebuffed by the Blue Devils.

Duke has recorded a steal on 13.9 percent of opponents' possessions - best percentage in the NCAA. He also had seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals.

Virginia is now the team dealing with an injury at point guard. The junior was unavailable for the February 2 game against Miami, the first time he has sat out in his career - a span of 89 games. "So we've practiced it a lot more".

Jerome had two field goals in the first half and didn't appear bothered by his back, but it was Guy who rose up in the final minutes to help Virginia claw back from a 14-point deficit to trail 39-35 at halftime even though the Blue Devils, ranked 13th in the ACC in three-point shooting, went 8 for 11 from beyond the arc.

Duke shot 59.1 percent in the first half, including 8 of 11 3-pointers (72.7 percent).

It's unclear, according to Bennett, whether Diakite will be available against the Tar Heels. Williamson replied: "Stop it, bro", in an attempt to douse the media hype surrounding his potential lottery status in the upcoming NBA Draft - whereas teammate Tre Jones, himself a point guard, was damn near fixated that his idol Rajon Rondo was in the stands watching him control the pace.

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