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Unbeatens Upset

No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Florida and No. 9 Pittsburgh lose for the first time

Redick scores 41 points, but the Blue Devils are unable to handle Georgetown and fall, 87-84.

January 22, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — John Thompson III got an embrace from his Hall of Fame father as the fans stormed the court, celebrating the first Georgetown victory over a No. 1 team in 21 years.

The Hoyas finally have a signature victory in the new Thompson era, Saturday's 87-84 stunner over top-ranked Duke.

Backdoor layups and stubborn defense inside produced a 16-point second-half lead and the Hoyas withstood a late rally, ending when senior Brandon Bowman jumped on a loose ball at the final buzzer.

"We've come close, we've been there, we've been at the other end of some lopsided defeats," said Thompson III, in his second season since replacing Craig Esherick. "And for that group to win this game, for that group to experience that, is special."

The Blue Devils (17-1) had matched their best start in school history, but their first 18-0 was thwarted by a Hoya team that shot 61% and held Shelden Williams to a season-low four points.

"We've been in the penthouse all season, having room service," Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Somebody jammed up the elevator today."

With Duke falling, No. 9 Pittsburgh losing to St. John's and No. 2 Florida falling at Tennessee, a day that began with three unbeaten Division I teams ended with none.

J.J. Redick matched his career high with 41 points, but he was mostly a one-man show. Krzyzewski said bad communication was to blame for the inability to stop Georgetown's backdoor moves, and the Duke rally simply came too late.

"When we don't match another team's intensity ... that doesn't happen very often. Then all of a sudden we do 'J.J.-watching,' where we're watching J.J. play," Krzyzewski said.

Brandon Bowman scored 23 points, and Jeff Green had 18 for the Hoyas (12-4), who had lost nine in a row against ranked opponents and hadn't beaten a No. 1 team since the "Sweater Game" against St. John's on Feb. 27, 1985.

The elder Thompson wore a striped sweater to match St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca's lucky sweater, and the Hoyas won, 85-69.

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