Duke topped Gonzaga 84-81 in a college basketball showcase in Las Vegas Friday night. No. 5 Duke was a 9-point underdog to No. 1 Gonzaga . But the biggest winner was college basketball with a record crowd and sensational skill showcased for the sport.
. Duke’s Paolo Banchero (21 points) and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren (16 points) were key players, but this event sponsored by Continental Tire showcased college basketball stars across the court.Banchero had 20 points and 4 rebounds in the first half as Duke took a 45-42 lead into the break. But Banchero had cramping issues and was limited in the second half as team captain and game MVP Wendell Moore Jr. took charge on the court and during timeouts. Moore finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. Center Mark Williams was altering shots and blocking 5 while adding 17 points and 9 rebounds for Duke.
“Mark (Williams) had a sensational game. But the leadership of of my captain was I think the key to the game,” Krzyzewski said. “Wendell Moore was absolutely spectacular.”Coach K added Moore’s leadership, demeanor and how he handled the team during the timeout after Gonzaga took the lead in the second half was instrumental in leading Duke to victory.
“It was really a players game.”Gonzaga’s Drew Timme tallied 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Rasir Bolton added 15 points and 6 assists, Andrew Nembhard 11 assists and Las Vegas native Julian Strawther 20 points and 10 rebounds.Walking into T-Mobile Arena 90 minutes before tipoff, you could see and feel the energy as fans were lined up near the entrance along Toshiba Plaza. Sitting courtside during warmups and throughout the first half, fans were screaming and supporting both teams creating a Final Four atmosphere just a few weeks into the 2021-22 season. headtopics.com
Beyond the stats, skill and final score, this was a college basketball showcase. Two major headliners on the Las Vegas Strip - Duke and Gonzaga - alongside two of the biggest brands, Caesars and MGM. Those properties now provide fans some added excitement and skin in the game through Caesars Sportsbook and BetMGM.
You can bet on it.Read more: Forbes »
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