As he fell to the ground, Grayson Allen's contested shot as time expired gave the Duke Blue Devils a stunning 63-62 win over the No. 7-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Brandon Ingram finished with a game-high 25 points, and Allen's final basket gave him 15 on the evening as the Blue Devils moved to 19-6 on the year and 8-4 in ACC play.
CBS Sports provided a vine of Allen's tough shot:
Grayson Allen FTWhttps://t.co/qsqZYGl2Uz— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) February 13, 2016
Duke Basketball reacted as expected to the nail-biting finish:
.@GraysonJAllen HITS THE BUZZER BEATER! Duke wins 63-62!!!!!! 😱😱😱— Duke M. Basketball (@Duke_MBB) February 13, 2016
Bleacher Report's Bryan Fischer shared his thoughts on the game-winner:
Seriously, how did Grayson Allen make that?— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) February 13, 2016
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports also wondered how the ball even went in?
Grayson Allen's best moment since last April. How did he make that?!— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) February 13, 2016
Duke trailed by as many as 11 points with six minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the first half. Appearing to be on their way to their first win in Cameron Indoor since 1995, per the ESPN broadcast, the Cavaliers held the Blue Devils to only 14 points in over 14 minutes.
Then, Ingram took over.
Duke's star freshman closed the first half by making four of the Blue Devils' five final shots, and Virginia's once-double-digit lead dwindled to three at halftime, 34-31.
Once the two teams came out of the locker rooms, Ingram continued his blazing stretch. Between the 2:17 mark in the first half and the 16:44 mark in the second half, Ingram scored 18 consecutive points as the Blue Devils took a 41-40 lead.
Duke Basketball couldn't believe what was happening:
This is a video game for Brandon Ingram right now.— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) February 13, 2016
Much of the discussion over the nation's best college basketball player has centered around LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons, but Ingram's offensive skill set makes him a worthy player to build an NBA franchise around. DraftExpress has Ingram going No. 2 overall in its latest mock draft.
CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni thinks it's no longer a one-man race for the No. 1 pick:
This draft isn't just about Simmons. Turn on ESPN. Duke/Virginia and then tell me if u want Simmons or Ingram— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) February 13, 2016
But despite Ingram's offensive onslaught, the veteran Cavaliers hung around thanks to Malcolm Brogdon. Virginia's senior guard, who scored nine of his team-high 18 points in the second half, tied the game at 58-58 with 5:48 remaining.
Not only did he make a difference in the scoring department, but Brogdon also made an impact on the defensive end by taking Ingram out of the game. Ingram made only one basket in the final 15-plus minutes after Virginia head coach Tony Bennett switched Brogdon onto Ingram.
CBS Sports' Sam Vecenie noted how important Brogdon was as Virginia made a charge and trimmed the Duke lead:
Those who say Malcolm Brogdon doesn’t affect game as much as “X” player, look at how the game has changed since he was switched onto Ingram.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) February 13, 2016
Duke had a chance to extend the lead to three points when Allen went to the free-throw line with 27 seconds remaining. He missed both free throws, though, and Virginia countered at the other end with a tough reverse layup by Brogdon with 11 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Allen's game-winner.
ESPN's Jeff Goodman felt Allen may have traveled on the play:
And yes, it did look like a walk by Grayson Allen. But let’s face it: That call is going Duke’s way in Cameron if it’s close.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 13, 2016
It's been a rough season for Duke, which fell out of the Top 25 for the first time since 2007, per Sports Illustrated. Since losing to the Miami Hurricanes, however, Duke has reeled off four straight wins, and Saturday's victory over a veteran Virginia team could be what gets Duke back on track heading into the ACC tournament.
The play was drawn up for Allen the entire time.
"When Coach drew up the play, and I knew it was coming to me, I really, really wanted to make a play," Allen said, per Joedy McCreary of the Associated Press. "And so I did. I did want it to come my way, just because I wanted another opportunity after missing those free throws."
Both coaches jokingly griped about the shot, with both having different views on how it turned out.
"I joked to Coach K, 'I think he traveled,'" Bennett said, per McCreary. "He said, 'Well, I think he got fouled.'"
Not only is it a win for Duke, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski hardly loses on his birthday. The now-69-year-old coach has won his last five games on his birthday, per ESPN Stats & Info.