Patrick Ewing had already yanked off his tie, and soon he needed to be restrained by the Georgetown coaching staff to keep from getting tossed. Ewing was hot, the Hoyas were unraveling and the crowd at Madison Square Garden was absolutely howling over the chaos on the court.
Keeping its cool in the other huddle, top-ranked Duke was waiting to pounce.
“It was kind of crazy out there for a little bit,” Duke guard Tre Jones said.
The Blue Devils are used to playing big games at the Garden, while the improving Hoyas are still finding their way.
Mike Krzyzewski set the record for wins coaching a No. 1 team as top-ranked Duke got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Vernon Carey Jr. to beat Georgetown 81-73 on Friday night.
The Blue Devils (6-0) beat Cal and the Hoyas on consecutive nights to win the 2K Empire Classic and give Krzyzewski another slice of history. Krzyzewski is 218-34 when the Blue Devils hold the top spot, a mark they hit this week in The Associated Press poll (They are also No. 1 in the Coaches Poll). Hall of Famer John Wooden went 217-11 while UCLA was No. 1 during his run there.
When Jones and Carey were asked to describe what it’s like to play for Krzyzewski, the Hall of Fame coach interjected, “great.”
The Blue Devils looked it in long stretches against a Hoyas (4-2) team that made them grind for it in front of a lively crowd at the Garden.
Carey, a five-star recruit who inherited Zion Williamson’s No. 1 jersey, has become the focal point of Duke’s offense, and he had a breakthrough in New York.