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Baylor 35, Duke 32 at the half

Quincy Acy came off the bench to score eight points for the Bears in the first half. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

HOUSTON -- Some quick thoughts from a high-energy game in front of a highly-energized crowd here at Reliant Stadium:

  • The crowd advantage does matter. This place is green and it's LOUD. In the last five minutes of the half, Duke looked completely rattled. Remember, these Blue Devils have never played for a chance at the Final Four. The name on the jersey doesn't mean diddly in this building.

  • Baylor's athleticism is showing up all over the court. The Bears are much better in transition (7-0 edge in fast-break points) and the explosiveness of Ekpe Udoh and Quincy Acy is something Duke simply can't match. The big men have 12 combined points for Baylor, and the Bears are dominating Duke inside, with 20 points in the paint.

  • And forget about Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn. No one in a Duke uniform can match them. The guards have been sensational and forcing tempo and upping the freneticism for Baylor. Carter has 10 and Dunn 13.

  • Brian Zoubek's three fouls hurt but aren't a killer. The 7-footer looks extremely frustrated and hasn't really been effective in this game in the face of guys as big as him but more athletic. The Plumlee brothers have given the Devils critical minutes here, and with their skill set, might be a better option anyway.

  • Duke isn't going to win with Kyle Singler going scoreless. The junior is 0-for-6 from the floor, saddled in part by foul trouble. Take Nolan Smith out of the equation and the Blue Devils are 7-of-19. They can't win that way.