Cavaliers Fall to No. 1 Duke
March 4, 1999
By JOE MACENKA
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Virginia coach Pete Gillen didn’t need to look at thehistory books to classify what top-ranked Duke did to his Cavaliers on Thursdaynight.
“They’re a wrecking machine,” Gillen said after the Blue Devils openedtheir bid for the Atlantic Coast Conference title with a 104-67 demolition of Virginia.
William Avery had 18 points and four assists to lead Duke (30-1) to itsninth consecutive victory over the Cavaliers.
The Blue Devils shot 52 percent, outrebounded the Cavaliers 59-36 and heldVirginia to 32-percent shooting. Duke quickly ended any doubts about theoutcome by limiting the Cavaliers to 22-percent shooting on the way to a38-point halftime lead.
“I’m really happy with our team,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We justwent on a run in the first half. We played outstanding.”
Trajan Langdon, the Blue Devils’ starting wing guard, limped to the lockerroom with 14:52 remaining and Duke up by 44. His injury was diagnosed as astrained left foot. X-rays were negative, and team officials said he would belisted as day-to-day.
“I’m not sure exactly how it happened,” said Langdon, whose foot waswrapped in ice after the game. “I was feeling a little discomfort running upand down the floor after it, and with a game like this, I wanted to get itchecked out and make sure it was OK.”
The Blue Devils, who just completed an unprecedented 16-0 run through theACC in the regular season, advanced to Saturday’s semifinals against the winnerof Friday’s quarterfinal between Wake Forest and North Carolina State.
“We can’t tell what his status is,” Krzyzewski said. “We’re hoping he’llbe ready for Saturday’s game.”
Duke, which had at least one starter on the floor until there was 3:06 left,also got 15 points apiece from Chris Carrawell and Elton Brand, 11 from ChrisBurgess and 10 from Nate James.
Virginia (14-16) fell behind by as many as 46 against a team that came inriding a school-record 24-game winning streak and leading the nation in bothscoring and scoring margin. “This is the best team I can remember playing against as an assistant coachor a head coach, and this is my 24th year in college basketball,” Gillen said.”We got discouraged. It happens all the time when you’re playing a great team.We’ve got a team with six scholarship players going against a team like this.It’s like pros vs. young men. What are you going to do?”
The Cavaliers, who lost to Duke by 46 points in both of their regular-seasongames, were led by Chris Williams’ 16 points and 10 rebounds. Donald Hand added15 points and Adam Hall had 12.
The direction of the game was apparent early, at least to Gillen, who calleda 20-second timeout less than 90 seconds into the contest after Duke went up5-0. It was of little use, however, as the Blue Devils needed less than threemore minutes to push their lead to double digits.
“I think we came out real confident, but I think nervousness set in,”Williams said. “We started missing a whole bunch of shots, and they werehitting all of theirs. It was a snowball effect.”
The largest previous margin of victory in any ACC tournament game wasVirginia’s 43-point triumph over Duke in the 1983 quarterfinals. By halftimeThursday night, the Blue Devils had put themselves well within reach of thatmark by building a 59-21 lead.
The Cavaliers didn’t help themselves in the first half by missing at least10 shots from 6 feet or less and going more than five minutes without a fieldgoal.
Duke took its biggest lead at 82-36 on a steal and fast-break layup by Averywith 10:29 remaining.
By the time Virginia rallied, there appeared to be less than 5,000 of theoriginal sellout crowd of 23,895 remaining at the Charlotte Coliseum.