The No. 2 seeded Duke Blue Devils took down the No. 15 seeded Troy Trojans by the score of 87-65 on Friday evening.
Duke was in control all game long, getting out to a 14-point halftime lead before putting a nail in the coffin in the second half with all-around superior play.
However, oddly enough, the most incredible highlight of the game came on a play that was wildly out of control.
With the game out of hand, Coach K put in his reserves, including freshman Javin DeLaurier, a 6’10”, 220 pound forward who averaged 1.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game through just 10 games played this season.
In other words, the kid was a bench warmer for most of the year.
Check out what he managed to do on a fast break after intercepting a pass from the Trojans in the video below.
Just like he drew it up! Or not. The odds of that happening was very, very low.
As you can see, DeLaurier anticipated a steal attempt from a Troy player on his path to the rim and in the process, he lost the handle on the ball. Luckily for his sake, the ball not only stayed in bounds, but it actually went in the hoop. All he could do was laugh on his way back on defense after the incredibly lucky shot.
Meanwhile, fellow freshman Jayson Tatum dropped 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 12 rebounds in the victory for the Blue Devils in what was a somewhat historic freshman performance for Duke.
As a likely one-and-done player, perhaps Tatum's absence next year will result in some added playing time for DeLaurier!
Additionally, Coach K earned another NCAA Tournament win and lengthened his lead on the all-time list in the process. It's astounding that each and every year, Duke is a contender for the national title. That is a direct effect of the leadership and culture that Coach K has built at Duke.
Note that he’s currently 20 wins ahead of University of North Carolina’s Roy Williams, who comes in second on the list.
By the time his career is over, there's no telling how high that number might go.
Overall, most of Duke’s first victory of this year’s tournament was a product of their skill and preparation, but the one play above by the freshman reserve summed up how the entire game must have felt like for Troy, who was completely overmatched.