DURHAM, N.C. — There wasn’t a moment like Christian Laettner’s buzzer beater from the free-throw line that downed Kentucky in the final minutes of the NCAA semifinals.
There wasn’t a spectacular dunk like Grant Hill’s that was so unbelievable it’s become a staple video clip to play up the NCAA tournament.
But Shane Battier joined the likes of nine other great Duke players, while helping the No.1 Blue Devils (24-3, 11-2)drain Georgia Tech (15-10, 7-7), 98-54, Wednesday night.
Battier became the 10th player in Duke history to have his jersey number retired.
Among the jersey’s of Hill, Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Danny Ferry, will hang Battier’s No. 31.
But Battier’s night was far from spectacular Wednesday. It wasn’t that Battier didn’t put up big numbers or that he failed to lead the team to victory.
The lack of excitement came from the lack of competition Georgia Tech provided.
Duke handed Georgia Tech its worst loss in 29 years. Despite winning five of its last seven games, Georgia Tech had no answer for Duke’s offensive fire power.
Georgia Tech was horrific from the field, shooting a pathetic 27 percent. Duke, on the other hand, was solid in hitting 47 percent of its shots.
Battier tallied 16 points, three blocks, three steals and seven boards on the evening.
Jason Williams led the Blue Devils with 25 points, while Mike Dunleavy dropped 18 on Georgia Tech.
Tony Akins led the charge for the Yellow Jackets with his 19 points. But Akins was just 6-of-17 from the floor.