Duke has been the talk of college basketball since its highly-touted freshmen shot the season out of a canon with a blowout win over then-No. 2 Kentucky. The five-time Maui champion Blue Devils arrived in paradise the favorites and played like it against the Aztecs (2-1).
Despite front-court foul trouble in the first half — Zion Williamson played seven minutes — Duke took control with an 11-0 run and led 49-32 by halftime behind Barrett’s 16 points.
The Blue Devils kept the runaway going with an early 8-0 run in the second half, building the lead to 71-46 on Williamson’s breakaway windmill dunk. Williamson had 13 points in 18 minutes.
Devin Watson had 15 points to lead San Diego State (2-1).
Bryce Brown scored 26 points, Jared Harper added 25 and No. 8 Auburn outlasted Xavier 88-79 in overtime to open the Maui Invitational.
The Tigers (4-0) shot poorly from the perimeter early and had a hard time shaking the new-look Musketeers (2-2), missing badly on a shot to win it in regulation.
Auburn took control in the overtime behind its defense, outscoring Xavier 11-2. The Tigers scored 31 points off Xavier’s 22 turnovers overall to earn a spot in the semifinals against the Duke-San Diego State winner.
Ryan Welage had 17 points and Paul Scruggs 16 for the Musketeers.
Auburn had a five-point lead with a minute left in regulation, but Naj Marshall made a 3-pointer from the wing to pull the Musketeers within 77-75.
Xavier tied it at 77-all with 26 seconds left in regulation on Tyrique Jones’ two free throws and Brown’s last-second shot came up well short.
The Maui Invitational is underway with one of the most stacked fields in tournament history.