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Duke ties dubious program record in tournament loss to Tennessee

By Mike Santa Barbara,

Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer reacts after losing to the Tennessee Volunteers in the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at Legacy Arena. Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 Duke Blue Devils faced the impossible task of meeting the long-held expectations built over the years under the legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

While a young Duke team had its fair share of success this season led by Coach K's successor John Scheyer, they ultimately fell flat in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday against the Tennessee Volunteers.

In a grinding, physical game, the Vols held the Blue Devils to only 52 points in a 13-point win. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Duke tied a program record for futility in an NCAA Tournament game, equaling the 1980 team for the lowest output, albeit in a victory, over Pennsylvania.

Duke tried to stick with the bigger, stronger Vols but couldn't find any consistency on offense, shooting only 42.9% from the field and a dreadful 27.3% from beyond the arc.

Olivier Nkamhoua led the way for Tennessee, scoring a game-high 27 points. Meanwhile, Tyrese Proctor topped all Duke scorers with 16 points, while Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach posted 13 apiece.

After the game, a dejected Scheyer voiced his pride in the team's performance, adding they had a great season despite how it ended.

"I'm hurting for these guys," Scheyer said after the game via the team's Twitter account. "They gave us everything could ask for. They fought through adversity. They stuck together.

"I loved coaching them. It hurts. It stings. But I'm very grateful to have coached this team."

Duke finished 27-8 (14-6), winning the program's 27th conference tournament championship, earning the No. 5 seed in the East Region. The Blue Devils took care of No. 12 Oral Roberts in the opening round before Tennessee ended their season on Saturday.

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