Duke basketball clutch gene in full bloom in Sweet 16 victory

The clutch gene of the Duke basketball team is in full bloom. There is something special brewing with the Duke basketball team.

After it looked like this team did not have the clutch gene after a disappointing two weeks to end the regular season and ACC Tournament, something has changed with the Blue Devils

Duke showed its moxie in the final four minutes in the Round of 32 against Michigan State, and it showed even more moxie on Thursday night in San Francisco against Texas Tech in the Sweet 16

The Red Raiders punched the Blue Devils in the mouth with their smothering defense in the opening four minutes, but Duke was able to settle into the game and claw its way back

Both teams traded blows in a heavyweight fight the entire second half. However, things looked to be teetering for Mike Krzyzewski’s after it took a 3-point lead, 64-61, on a thunderous dunk by Mark Williams with 5:36 remaining

Texas Tech went on a 7-2 run in the next 2:15 to take a 68-66 lead before Paolo Banchero hit the biggest shot of his career, a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, to put the Blue Devils back in front. And Duke never looked back

Jeremy Roach hit a fadeaway and elbow jumper to push the Duke lead to five, 73-68, with 1:32 left. Then the Blue Devils were able to close things out at the free throw line despite a late push from the Red Raiders, winning 78-73

All five of Duke’s starters scored at least 11 points as Banchero led the way with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 3-of-4 from 3-point range

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