College Basketball Podcast: Gonzaga upsets Duke in Maui Invitational title game

Arnold Nichols
November 24, 2018

Gonzaga (4-0) will play Arizona in the semifinals tonight, while IL (1-2) wakes up early to play in the brunch bracket against Iowa State.

In Duke's previous two matchups against top-10 opponents, the Blue Devils have dominated from the onset-they took down Kentucky by 34 and opened up an early 17-point advantage against Auburn, never trailing against either. Gonzaga went on another run, pushing the lead 79-67 and kept the Wildcats at bay from there.

After posting 16 assists to zero turnovers over UA's first three games, UA freshman guard Brandon Williams dished another four assists before committing his first turnover of the season with 14:11 remaining in the half.

Xavier took No. 8 Auburn to overtime in its Maui opener and rallied against San Diego State, pulling within 64-63 with 3 minutes left.

Naji Marshall had 13 points for the Musketeers.

Duke's men's basketball program looked pretty invincible during its first couple of games of the 2018-19 regular season. IL had trouble with the Musketeers' size inside, though, and was outscored 36-20 in the paint to allow Xavier to stretch the lead in the second half. The Blue Devils blocked 11 shots overall.

The Duke Blue Devils couldn't get a basket in the end as the Gonzaga Bulldogs missed four straight free throws to leave the game wide open. With the score tied 87-87, the 203-cm power forward, who hails from Toyama Prefecture, scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:17 remaining and then played solid defense on Duke standout R.J. Barrett, forcing him into a hard shot and then blocking the Canadian freshman at the rim as he looked to tie the game.

The Bulldogs held on for an 84-78 win over a gritty IL team, but it was hardly as easy as it appeared it would be for most of the game at the Lahaina Civic Center.

R.J. Barrett hit two free throws, but 3-pointers by Bryce Brown and Jared Harper on Auburn's next two possessions left Duke with a 35-26 lead.

Canadian sensation R.J. Barrett - who was the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2018 and the sole freshman named to the AP preseason All-America team - leads the Blue Devils and ranks second in the entire ACC with an average of 22.8 points per game. Zion Williamson dropped a double-double, 22 points, and 10 boards in the loss. You need a lineup that blends fearless youth (for the purposes of this exercise, sophomore swingmen Zach Norvell Jr. and Corey Kispert count as youth in Mark Few's diverse roster) with world-weary upperclassmen.

Bol Bol had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Payton Pritchard added 18 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Ducks held off the Phoenix in the final campus game of the 2K Empire Classic in Eugene, Ore.

The Cyclones (5-1) lost to Arizona and beat IL to open the Maui Invitational, then jumped on the Aztecs early. Chase Jeter added 10 points and 12 rebounds for Arizona while Marial Shayok led Iowa State with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

San Diego State (3-2) was blown out by top-ranked Duke in its opener and bounced back with a win over Xavier in the second round.

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