"That's the goal here now that you're in the tournament is to learn from winning and keep improving because we know in the next round whoever it is we're going to play, they're going to be a really good team", Allen said.
The #8 Arkansas Razorbacks (25-9) was unable to complete their SEC tournament title run after being stopped by the Kentucky Wildcats with 65-82.
Duke will have to pay attention to SC senior guard Sindarius Thornwell, the SEC Player of the Year who tallied 29 points in Friday night's game with Marquette.
"Press" Virginia survived a tough matchup against Bucknell on Thursday and face off against a Fighting Irish team that looked sluggish and nervous against Princeton. Since then many books bumped the Blue Devils to -20, and the total to 154.
Tatum also spearheaded a stingy second-half performance on the defensive end by Duke, as the Blue Devils limited Troy to just 35.7 percent shooting in the second half.
"We played to defeat the odds (this season)", said Duke junior guard Lexie Brown, a transfer from Maryland who is averaging a team-best 18.3 points. If he does elect to make himself available for the 2017 NBA Draft, it will be a tough blow. "Nate shot it well last night, I think made two 3s last night, was five assists on our chart, no turnovers". The Blue Devils (27-8) have won five national titles since 1991.
Health has been an issue. Even though top recruit Harry Giles hasn't lived up to expectations, the Blue Devils are still loaded.
Tatum, a 6-8 forward, sprained a foot, and Bolden, a 6-11 center, had a lower-leg injury, in the preseason.
But Grayson Allen was ready and hit 6-10 (5-9 from three point range) for 21 points.
Duke's talent, however, hasn't always translated to success this season. Krzyzewski stepped away for seven games after having back surgery.
Among those on hand was Brian Balles, who said he had been Luke Kennard's high school coach. They made the decision to make a change. "We're all going to be focused on each other". "You know when we come in the gym, if they're booing it's either for Coach or for him".
But Duke was clearly better.
Walker is the only player with postseason experience, having been to the Final Four with Florida, so for almost the entire roster, this moment will be one it has not experienced before.
While plenty joke and comment about spending time in the winter in Buffalo, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins isn't one of those people. "It's just when you come in, my job is to give energy", Allen added, just before Krzyzewski politely reminded his combo guard that his job description also involves scoring points. We went to four NCAA Tournaments in our first four years. "We had a good season at home and want to continue that". It's been hard. We've been on a great journey.
The Terrapins are led by mainstay point guard Melo Trimble, one of the best players in this tournament, and then coach Mark Turgeon has a pretty freshmen-laden roster.
Duke certainly found itself last week in the ACC Tournament.
Second-seeded Duke and SC are coming off strong second-half stretches in their tournament openers. "I'm just going in preparing for the game like I'm playing, regardless of what happens". "And it wasn't based on any factual stuff that they saw". "And we're right in there with them". We haven't used any of that stuff as excuses. The Wojo vs. Coach K thing is fun, and probably the best-possible scenario for Duke considering all the Greenville-related obstacles that could come with SC.
North Carolina F Justin Jackson: The Tar Heels wouldn't be a national championship contender without Jackson, whose 34-point effort on 10-of-17 shooting in the shootout loss to Kentucky early in the season was overlooked a bit because of Malik Monk's 47.