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Still, Pitt had its chances. Two free throws by Patterson brought Pitt within 52-51 with 9:41 left when the Blue Devils took off.

Dawkins slipped through the lane for a tip-in to get going. Quinn Cook followed with a 3-pointer. Dawkins responded by knocking down a 3 on each of Duke’s next three trips down the court, including a 25-foot heave at the shot clock buzzer. One last 3 made it 67-54 with 5:32 left. Pitt never drew within single digits the rest of the way.

Parker accepted congratulations from his teammates as the final seconds ticked off and the crowd headed out into the bitter cold night, a decisive end to a game that featured eight ties and nine lead changes over the first 25 minutes.

“We had to get stops and we didn’t do it,” Dixon said.

With the student section - some of whom had camped overnight - producing small tremors every time the Blue Devils had the ball in their hands, the Panthers controlled the game’s first 10 minutes but missed an opportunity to bury Duke early by missing a handful of shots in the lane. During one sequence Pitt grabbed four offensive rebounds but failed to convert.

Parker didn’t let the reprieve go to waste. The versatile forward did a little bit of everything to get the Blue Devils back in it, with a dozen NBA scouts in the front row getting an eyeful. He dunked twice, hit two 3-pointers and even put together a nifty up-and-under move that drew two Panthers off their feet before he laid it in.