HOUSTON -- Some quick thoughts from the turtle (as opposed to the hare of Baylor) game here in Houston:
The brutal pace of this game is hard to watch for everyone in Reliant Stadium except Matt Painter. The Purdue coach is in heaven right now. With Robbie Hummel watching in a shirt and tie, the Boilermakers -- who flat-out have struggled to score without Hummel -- could not afford to get in an up-and-down game with the Blue Devils. They'd be fine winning this game 32-30. And they just might.
Don't know if it's the slow tempo that's bugging Duke, but the Blue Devils are making an awful lot of uncharacteristic mistakes. Duke has 11 turnovers, leading to 10 points for the Boilers. In a game in which absolutely no one can score -- did Baylor steal all the offense or something? -- those critical mistakes and points are making all the difference.
Jon Scheyer is still struggling and that's not good news for Duke. The guard went 1-for-11 in Duke's second-round win against Cal and is 0-for-6 here in the first half. In a game in which every possession is going to be critical, the Blue Devils can't afford to have Scheyer misfiring.
Credit to JaJuan Johnson. Saddled with two fouls just seven minutes into the game, Johnson has played deliberately, but stayed aggressive on offense. He has 13 of the Boilers' 23 points and went to the locker room still with just two fouls. Credit, too, to Matt Painter realizing there's no way he could afford to leave Johnson on the bench and expect to have a chance.