The surest sign that Auburn basketball has arrived may have come late Tuesday night, nearly 4,400 miles away from the Plains.
Eighth-ranked Auburn hung tough with top-ranked Duke in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational, never quite threatening the Blue Devils but keeping pace for all 40 minutes in a 78-72 loss at the Lahaina Civic Center.
It was Auburn’s first loss in five tries this season, but it was also the closest and hardest-fought game that Duke has faced early in the year.
2 Kentucky off the court in the teams’ season opener a couple weeks ago, beating the Wildcats by 34 points.
Wiley finished with 17 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench, coming on particularly strong in the second half, when he had 13 points and four boards to help keep Auburn within reach of a Duke team that may produce the top-three picks in next year’s NBA Draft in Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.
The five-time national championship-winning coach also lauded Auburn’s dynamic backcourt tandem of Jared Harper and Bryce Brown.
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- No. 1 Duke to play No. 3 Gonzaga today for Maui Invitational championshipGreensboro News & Record
- Auburn's Bruce Pearl on No. 1 Duke: 'We threatened them but they were never ...CBSSports.com
- Duke men's basketball displays poise in the midst of adversity against AuburnDuke Chronicle
- Finally threatened, No. 1 Duke was never scared as it toppled No. 8 AuburnNews & Observer
- Duke makes the most of its experienceESPN
- No. 1 Duke, No. 3 Gonzaga to decide Maui titleWTVD-TV
- No. 8 Auburn gives No. 1 Duke a fightNWAOnline