Despite going up against a Duke frontcourt loaded with former five-star recruits, Anas Mahmoud poured in a career-high 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds as Louisville took down the seventh-ranked Blue Devils, 78-69.
The Cards trailed for most of the first half before an 8-0 run spearheaded by Mahmoud and Quentin Snider gave them a lead they would never relinquish. Snider finished with 13 points and a team-high assists.
Snider's backcourt mate, Donovan Mitchell, was Louisville's driving force on offense in the second half, despite an ank;e injury that briefly sent him to the locker room. Mitchell connected on three of his five attempts from beyond the arc, and finished with 15 points, 10 of which came after halftime.
Grayson Allen led the way with 23 points for Duke, which fell to 2-3 in ACC play.
At some point between now and March, Duke is going to get healthy and they're going to get Coach K back, which means this win has the potential to really sparkle on Louisville's NCAA Tournament resume. The Cards still likely have a couple of unexpected ACC stumbles in them, but I think the can be said for every team in the conference. The fact of the matter is that it's Jan. 14, and U of L has already beaten Duke, Kentucky, Indiana and Purdue ... and we know what time of the year Rick Pitino's teams typically peak.
Matchups and draws obviously make things difficult to predict, but I think the next couple of months are going to be a whole lot of fun.