The 5th ranked Duke Blue Devils lead by tournament MVP Quinn Cook upset the 2nd ranked Louisville Cardinals 76-71 to win the Battle 4 Atlantis at Nassau Bahamas. Cook scored 8 points in the last 75 seconds of the game including 4 for 4 from the foul line to hold off a late Louisville challenge. Cooks biggest basket came with the shot clock running down and 27 seconds left in the game to extend Duke’s lead to 72-67.
Despite two early fouls on Duke big man Mason Plumlee, they were able to take a 36-28 halftime lead. Louisville’s Peyton Siva (19 points) and Russ Smith (17 points) helped the Cardinals eventually tie the game at 61 -61 before Seth Curry’s 3 pointer from the corner gave Duke a 3 point lead with a little over 4 minutes on the clock. Clutch free throws down the stretch from Cook, however, secured the game for Duke. The Blue Devils had balanced scoring with Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry and Rasheed Sulaimon all contributing 14 points while Mason Plumlee had 16 points and Quinn Cook 15 points with 6 assists.
Louisville played the game without its 6’10’’ center Gorgui Dieng who sat out the game with a wrist injury suffered the day before in their win over 13th ranked Missouri.
The victory marked the 23rd straight regular season tournament win by the Blue Devils going back to 2006. This year’s Battle 4 Atlantis was the premiere regular season tournament as the field included 4 teams that are currently ranked in the top 25, namely Louisville, Duke, Memphis and Missouri. Two other teams, VCU and Minnesota, who are not currently ranked, are both projected to challenge for a spot in the NCAA tournament in March.
Duke’s next game will be home this Wednesday against 3rd ranked Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at 9:3PM (EST) Duke will be place its current streak of 96 straight non-conference home wins on the line against the Buckeyes.