NEW YORK — Duke's 71-56 victory over Michigan at Madison Square Garden on Friday took all the mystery out of the 10th-ranked Blue Devils upcoming trip to Ann Arbor.
Duke won the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer title with the victory. It plays Montana at home on Sunday and Duquesne on Nov. 28.
The Devils then go to Purdue for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 2 before meeting the Wolverines again on Dec. 6.
In the rematch at Crisler Arena, Michigan (3-1) will have real life experience against Duke’s personnel and stories to tell about Duke sophomore forward Kyle Singler, who won the tournament’s most valuable player award.
Singler did a little bit of everything, even guarding Michigan’s hot-shooting freshman guard Stu Douglass to open the game, while scoring 15 points.
Nolan Smith scored 16. Gerald Henderson added 12 and made the all-tournament team.
Duke (5-0) will know that Michigan senior Manny Harris, an all-tourney pick after scoring 25 points, is for real. The Devils will also have a good idea how to attack Michigan’s zone defense.
Michigan had forced UCLA into a pass, pass, go nowhere offense with a good mix of man-to-man and 1-3-1 defense. while upsetting the fourth-ranked Bruins on Thursday night.
Duke did a better job attacking Michigan’s defense in the second half. The Blue Devils used dribble penetration to get into an area of the key where it could dump to players cutting along the baseline, which is the weakspot of the 1-3-1.
Singler did while finding Smith for two points to open the half. Then Smith returned the favor, hooking up with Henderson for an alley-oop dunk. When Greg Paulus sliced into the Wolverine defense to find David McClure cutting along the baseline for a slam, the bucket gave Duke a 55-39 lead with 12:55 remaining.
Harris cut Duke’s lead to 12 with a 3-pointer with 3:08 left in the game but that was as close as Michigan got.
The Wolverines had played fairly well in the opening minutes and were matching the Devils before Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski shook up his lineup.
With Duke leading 17-15 with 11:02 left in the first half, Duke's David McClure, Martynas Pocius and Elliott Williams replaced starters Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson.
That group put together an efficient 8-0 run over the next two minutes. The group looked more comfortable playing together than Duke’s regulars have for all but one first half this season.
Smith hit two jumpers and fed Williams for two others. McClure took a charge. Zoubek blocked one shot. Duke led 25-15 when Michigan coach John Beilien called a timeout at the 8:54 mark to get his team back on track.
The Wolverines are playing Beilein’s open offense with a lot more confidence in the coach’s second season but struggled to hit their open shots in the first half while shooting 3-for-11 from the field.
Senior guard Manny Harris led Michigan with eight first-half points. Singler and Smith scored nine and eight, respectively for the Blue Devils before halftime.