WASHINGTON -- Georgetown 87, Duke 84.
Big East 1, ACC 0.
Actually, the Atlantic Coast Conference holds a 4-3 edge in the season series, but the self-proclaimed behemoth of college basketball looked as big and bad as advertised yesterday at the MCI Center, where the Blue Devils lost their intensity, a perfect record and the No. 1 ranking they had held all season.
"If you're going to get beat, you want to get beat by somebody who deserves it," Krzyzewski said. "The single most important thing is for our kids to play hard. We were not worthy of the Duke jersey today."
It was a dangerous day for the nation's last unbeaten men's teams. Florida lost at Tennessee, and Pittsburgh lost at St. John's.
Coach John Thompson III's unranked Georgetown (12-4) entered as a seventh-place team in the Big East, lacking the marquee wins necessary to get in the NCAA tournament.
Duke (17-1) has been head and shoulders above the rest of the ACC, but trailed by as many as 16 before mounting a furious rally in a game painted in historic tones.
A record start, matching the one during an NCAA championship season in 1992, was stopped, despite 41 points from J.J. Redick that matched the career high he dropped on Texas six weeks earlier in another CBS national telecast.
It was Georgetown's first win over a top-ranked team since Feb. 27, 1985, when Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas beat St. John's and Chris Mullin at Madison Square Garden. It's remembered as the "sweater" game, since coach John Thompson wore one as garish as one of Lou Carnesecca's fashion faux pas.
"Yeah, baby," Thompson said in a corridor yesterday, as many of the students who stormed the floor lingered after his son delivered the program's biggest victory in at least five years.
The crowd, 20,035, was only Georgetown's second sellout at the MCI Center.
The other was for a Duke visit two years ago, when Shelden Williams overpowered the Hoyas with a 12-for-15 shooting day. At the time, Thompson was coaching at Princeton and Jeff Green was a senior at Prince George's County's Northwestern High, the same school that produced former Maryland star Len Bias.
Green was one of the first bodies on Williams, who scored a season-low four points. A versatile 6-foot-9 sophomore, Green had 18 points, seven assists and three steals. He complemented a heady senior class - one that has never tasted the NCAAs - and sophomore point guard Jonathan Wallace, whose six assists and one turnover typified Georgetown's offensive efficiency.
This is the younger Thompson's sixth season as a head coach. None of his teams had ever scored as many as the Hoyas did yesterday. Only three Duke opponents had shot better than 50 percent. Georgetown made 61.5 percent of its attempts, as the Blue Devils were lazy on the same backdoor cuts they had defended against North Carolina State three days before.
"Coach Thompson has been preaching that with hard work, anything can happen," said sixth man Darrell Owens, who had 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting and five assists. Brandon Bowman, another senior, had team highs of 23 points and eight rebounds.
With his teammates doing what Krzyzewski called "J.J. watching" at their offensive end, the Hoyas never trailed after the 13th minute and led by as many as 16. They were up 58-44 with 12 minutes left before Wallace and the other ball-handlers began to pick up their dribble and feed into the Blue Devils' perimeter pressure.
Duke closed to within 74-72 on a rare basket by Williams. Redick was 6-for-8 from three-point range heading into the final four minutes, but he had two free throws to show for his last six touches, as he forced a three from the left side and had one on the right blocked by Bowman.
"It was a little surprising that we end up being [in] a one-possession game," Redick said, "when you think about the amount of bonehead plays we made."
Krzyzewski nonetheless wanted the ball in Redick's hands in the closing seconds, but Paulus received an entry pass after a missed foul shot with 6.5 seconds left and dribbled the ball away.
"You have to remain hungry," Krzyzewski said. "We've been in the penthouse all season, having room service. Somebody jammed up the elevator today."
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
DUKE-Paulus 5-8 3-3 14, Redick 12-24 11-13 41, Melchionni 3-7 0-0 8, Dockery 5-8 0-0 10, Williams 2-8 0-2 4, McRoberts 2-2 1-2 5, Pocius 0-0 0-0 0, Boykin 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 30-58 15-20 84. GEORGETOWN-Cook 5-10 5-6 17, Bowman 8-12 5-7 23, Wallace 4-6 4-5 12, Green 7-11 3-6 18, Hibbert 1-2 0-0 2, Owens 6-8 0-0 13, Sapp 0-0 0-0 0, Egerson 1-3 0-0 2, Kilkenny-Diaw 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-52 17-24 87. Half-Georgetown 42-28. 3-point goals-Duke 9-19 (Redick 6-11, Melchionni 2-5, Paulus 1-1, Dockery 0-2), Georgetown 6-14 (Bowman 2-3, Cook 2-4, Owens 1-2, Green 1-3, Wallace 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Duke 26 (Williams 11), Georgetown 29 (Bowman 8). Assists-Duke 11 (Paulus 4), Georgetown 24 (Green 7). Total fouls-Duke 22, Georgetown 20. A-20,035.