With two minutes remaining in the game and Duke leading by four, the Blue Devils went into slowdown mode. When they did get into their offense, they attacked the rim and I'm guessing they weren't really prepared for what happened next. Michael Ojo, playing the best basketball of his career, came up with a huge block against Quinn Cook. But Devon Bookert ended up with the ball in a scramble and had to pick up his dribble and the possession unfortunately ended in a turnover.
Duke hit a jumper to open the lead to six before Montay Brandon took a drive into the chest of Jahlil Okafor, and got an and-1 to cut the lead to three. And then Ojo, again, came up with another huge block. On the other end of the floor Xavier Rathan-Mayes made an improbable, twisting layup with 11 seconds left.
FSU fouled, and Duke knocked down both to take a 3-point lead.
Duke fouled on the ensuing possession, and Devon Bookert made the first to cut it to two. In a move which is sure to spark debate, Coach Hamilton tried to sneak one past Duke and have Bookert intentionally miss. The math isn't in your favor when the other team has the ball with six seconds left, so it's tough to say what the odds move was. But Duke got the rebound.
It didn't really have much of an affect though, because Quinn Cook - the best free throw shooter in the ACC - missed one and FSU still had life. But with five seconds left FSU couldn't get off a three before Duke fouled, and the game was effectively over.
Duke won 73-70.
For most of the first 30 minutes this felt like a blowout waiting to happen. Duke kept building leads, and FSU kept doing just enough to stay in it. With XRM struggling, FSU turned to a back court of Devon Bookert and Robbie Berwick, and surprisingly the Noles were able to make a late run.
In a span of 20 seconds Berwick hit two NBA 3s to make it a one possession game with nine minutes left. Possession by possession though, Duke was able to build it back to double digits with five minutes left. But an 8-2 run by FSU got the Noles right back in it. And then Ojo did his best on the defensive end but FSU just couldn't get over the hump.
Devon Bookert scored a career high 23 points despite taking just eight shots. Montay Brandon had 12, Jarquez Smith scored 11, and Michael Ojo had nine boards and three blocks and played a career high 21 minutes against the likely No. 1 pick in next year's NBA draft. Phil Cofer, doing his part, had one of the best dunks of the year.
After three games in six days, the Noles are now off until Saturday's trip to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech.