The Cavaliers overcame 23 points from Jabari Parker, as the star freshman went on an incredible run in the second half to nearly lead a Duke comeback. But the Cavaliers' defense lived up to the hype, shutting down the Blue Devils when it needed to and coming away with an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Virginia got off to a quick start, opening the game on a 9-2 run, with five points from Malcolm Brogdon and four from Mike Tobey. The Cavaliers' defense continued to frustrate the Blue Devils, but Duke was able to manufacture points and cut the deficit down to 17-12 with eight minutes left in the half.
Parker hit just one of his first eight shots (the Blue Devils in general hit just three of their first 19), as Duke struggled to find him space. With under four minutes to play in the half, the freshman hit a three-pointer to tie it up at 19-19.
The Cavaliers went on a quick run to end out the half, but Duke responded with two late three pointers to cut the halftime deficit to 28-25.
Whenever Duke would cut down Virginia's lead, the Cavaliers would shut it down on defense and answer on the offensive end. Virginia quickly took back the lead after giving it up with 14 minutes remaining, and when Andre Dawkins' three-pointer tied the game up a few minutes later, Joe Harris hit one of his own to keep the lead at three.
With Duke down 43-40 with 10 minutes to play, Parker simply took over. The freshman picked up a big steal, gliding down the length of the court before finishing with a big dunk over London Perrantes.
After Virginia hit a bucket, Parker sank a three and made another bucket to take the lead, capping off an incredible run of seven points in 84 seconds.
The Cavaliers responded and took a 57-53 lead with five minutes to play on Akil Mitchell's tip-in, then extended that lead on Anthony Gill's two free throws. The Blue Devils scored four straight points to cut the deficit back to two, but another offensive rebound and putback from Mitchell kept it a two-possession game. On Virginia's next possession, Harris' three-pointer made the lead 64-57, effectively sealing it.