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Duke Dominates Pitt Wire-to-Wire in ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, 96-69



NBA Draft. Dereck Lively II and Nike Sibande as Pitt faces Duke in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Greensboro, N.C. on March 9, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Pitt’s run at an ACC title came to an abrupt ending on Thursday afternoon, as Kyle Filipowski and the fourth-seeded Duke Blue Devils dominated Pitt by a score of 96-69.

Duke opened the floodgates early, hitting its first four field-goal attempts and six of its first eight tries to build a quick 16-4 lead. The freshman phenom Filipowski hit two wide open threes to open the scoring, scoring six of his 14 first-half points just minutes into the action.

While Duke stayed hot from the field, Pitt failed to find success offensively, hitting just five of its first 15 shot attempts. In the last seven minutes of the first half, the Panthers started to shoot the ball better, but could not slow down the powerful, speedy Blue Devils on the other end. In the first, Jamarius Burton led the Panthers with eight points on 3-for-6 shooting, but the rest of Pitt’s starting five combined for just 10 points in the frame, leading to a 48-32 deficit at the half.

The Blue Devils came out of the break showing no signs of slowing down, as Filipowski hit another three then finished off an alley-oop from Jeremy Roach following a Pitt turnover. Less than two minutes into the half, Duke had built its strongest lead of the game: a 23-point margin.

The Blue Devils kept their foot on the gas throughout the half, using an early three-point barrage and steady buckets from the entire roster to finish the win. Filipowski cruised his way to 22 points on the night, while fellow freshmen Dereck Lively and Tyrese Proctor also shined. Proctor dropped an 11-point, 10-assist double-double in the Blue Devils’ victory. As a team, the Blue Devils shot a remarkable 62% from the field, and set season highs in points and assists (27) on the day.

Pitt’s Diaz-Graham twins did all they could on the offensive end, as Guillermo scored 14 points and Jorge added five. Nike Sibande led the way with 17 points off the bench, but the rest of the Panthers just could not spark any offense in the lopsided loss. Burton went 5 for 12 from the field, finishing with 13 points in the loss.

With the loss, Pitt is eliminated from the ACC Tournament and will now wait and see if its resume is strong enough for a bid to this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Panthers enter Selection Sunday with a 22-11 overall record.

Duke advances to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, and will play Miami on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils earned their seventh-straight win of the season on Thursday, and capped off a season sweep of Jeff Capel’s Panthers.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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