CORAL GABLES, Fla. — With a steady din coming from the sea of orange behind the visitors’ basket, No. 1 Duke had a tough time making a shot.
The Blue Devils went more than 8 minutes without a field goal in the first half Wednesday night, and a sellout became a blowout for No. 25 Miami, which delighted a boisterous crowd with a 90-63 victory.
The defeat was the third-worst ever for a No. 1 team. The last time Duke lost a regular-season game by a bigger margin was in January 1984.
“It wasn’t demoralizing; they played better,” Blue Devils guard Rasheed Sulaimon said. “I believe we have them on the schedule again.”
“We expected them to be terrific, and we have to match terrific, and then you have a terrific game,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “What you had was a terrific win for them, but not a terrific game. We didn’t hold our end of the bargain.”
Miami (14-3, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat a No. 1 team for the first time, taking control with a stunning 25-1 run midway through the opening half. The Blue Devils missed 13 consecutive shots despite numerous good looks, while four Hurricanes hit 3-pointers during the run that transformed a 14-13 deficit into a 38-15 lead.
Duke (16-2, 3-2) fell to 0-2 when playing on an opponent’s court. The Blue Devils’ other loss came at North Carolina State, a defeat that cost them the No. 1 ranking.
They regained the top spot this week but seemed rattled by the capacity crowd, only the 10th in 10 years at Miami’s on-campus arena. Students began lining up for seats outside the arena almost 24 hours before tipoff, a rarity for the attendance-challenged Hurricanes.
“I don’t know how you can sit outside for a basketball game for that long,” Miami guard Durand Scott said. “That made me want to win for them even more.”
The Hurricanes, who are alone atop the league standings, won their sixth consecutive game. They beat Duke for the second straight time — but only the fourth time in the 19-game series.
Miami had been 0-6 against No. 1 teams. Coach Jim Larranaga also beat a No. 1 team for the first time.
“This is a great memory,” Larranaga said.
Scott scored a season-high 25 points for the Hurricanes, and Kenny Kadji added a season-high 22. Shane Larkin had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and Durham, N.C. native Julian Gamble had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Miami senior center Reggie Johnson came off the bench in his first action since being sidelined with a broken left thumb Dec. 18. He had two points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.
The Hurricanes, ranked this week for the first time in three years, improved to 8-0 at home.
Seth Curry, Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook went a combined 1 for 29 for the Blue Devils, who shot a season-low 30 percent. Sulaimon led them with 16 points.
Duke went 4 for 23 from 3-point range, while Miami went 9 for 19 and shot 57 percent overall.
“Especially in the first couple of minutes, we got a lot of great shots,” Blue Devils forward Mason Plumlee said. “You’re going to miss some, but you have to keep shooting. The biggest mistake you can make is questioning your shot because you’re missing open shots.”
Kadji made two 3s during the Hurricanes’ first-half spurt, then capped it with a three-point play. Duke shot 22 percent in the first half, including two for 11 on 3-pointers, and trailed 42-19 at halftime.
There was no letup by the Hurricanes to start the second half. They scored the first seven points for a shocking 49-19 lead, and punctuated the drubbing with five dunks in the final 10 minutes.
“Some teams come out in the second half flat and think they have the game won,” Larkin said, “but we stayed with it with the same energy in the second half. We played great the whole game.”
A Duke mistake — one in a long series — early in the second half had Krzyzewski red-faced and on the court, screaming at his team. But he couldn’t inspire a turnaround.
“Over-rated,” fans chanted with 3 minutes left. When the game ended, they poured onto the court and mobbed their team.
“The crowd I’m sure helped them some,” Krzyzewski said. “But they didn’t need much help.”
Back in North Carolina, fans of the Tar Heels savored the loss by their rivals. When the final score of the Duke game was posted on the video board at the North Carolina-Georgia Tech game, students chanted, “Go to hell, Duke!”
North Carolina 79, Georgia Tech 63
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Facing a last-place team and with a nationally ranked neighborhood rival looming ahead, North Carolina certainly could have looked past Georgia Tech.
Instead the Tar Heels came up with the closest thing they’ve had to a complete game in a while.
They led from start to finish of their third straight victory, a rout of the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night.
“We just came out and played a whole game — finally,” big man James Michael McAdoo said.
Reggie Bullock scored 17 points, P.J. Hairston had 15 points and McAdoo added 14 for North Carolina (13-5, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
“I see our team gelling together — people knowing their roles, people knowing what they’re capable of doing,” Bullock said. “So it’s just going out there and just playing the game that coach (Roy Williams) recruited them to play.”
With former star Rashad McCants watching from behind their bench in a McAdoo jersey, the Tar Heels shot nearly 43 percent (30 of 70) to move above .500 in league play for the first time this season.
Next up: A visit to No. 18 North Carolina State on Saturday night.
“I wasn’t thinking about that game at all,” McAdoo said. “As a team, we knew we had to show up and be ready to play today, and that’s what we did.”
Kammeon Holsey had 10 of his 18 points in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets (10-7, 0-5) had 19 turnovers and lost their fifth straight to remain the only team winless in ACC play.
“It’s an unforgiving league for young guys trying to grow up,” coach Brian Gregory said.
His team trimmed a 13-point deficit to 36-32 on Solomon Poole’s 3-pointer with 2 minutes left in the half.
Bullock — who had a career-high 24 points last time out against Maryland — started and finished the ensuing 15-2 run with buckets from close range. His no-you-take-it layup from Marcus Paige gave the Tar Heels their largest lead to that point, 49-34, with 17½ minutes to go.
Georgia Tech never got closer than 11 the rest of the way, and Hairston punctuated this one with a thunderous dunk over Daniel Miller with about 6 minutes left that made it 70-53.
“We could never get that break — a big defensive rebound when we needed it, a big basket,” Gregory said. “Our margin of error is small. We don’t have to play perfect, but we have to play pretty darn well.”
Chris Bolden finished with 10 points while Robert Carter had 12 rebounds and Marcus Georges-Hunt added 10 boards for Georgia Tech, which lost at each of the points in the North Carolina Triangle — N.C. State, Duke and now UNC — in a stretch of 15 nights.
Dexter Strickland and Paige each finished with six assists for North Carolina, and the only thing its students love as much a Tar Heel victory is a Duke loss. One held a handwritten sign saying only “didDukewin.com” while another one nearby held a sign that said simply “No” because a few minutes before this one tipped off, No. 25 Miami polished off a 90-63 rout of the top-ranked Blue Devils.
When that score went up on the video board during a timeout, the crowd followed with a loud, sustained ovation and the students chanted “Go to hell, Duke!”
Then the Tar Heels themselves got clicking, building their first double-figure lead while holding Georgia Tech without a field goal for 4½ minutes. McAdoo’s dunk from the baseline with 9½ minutes left put them up 25-15 and brought McCants — who starred on the 2005 national championship team — to his feet.
“I saw that — I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s kind of weird to see him wearing that,’” McAdoo said with a smile. “He’s one of the greatest to ever play here at North Carolina and it’s always good to have guys like him come back during the season.”
The lead grew to 13 on Bullock’s 3-pointer with 8 minutes left before the Yellow Jackets rallied.
Earlier in the day, the Tar Heels found out they’ll be without junior guard Leslie McDonald for three more games. He missed the previous three games with a knee injury, but was suspended for three more after Williams said he “did not do what we expect of our student-athletes.”
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