Wake Forest edges No. 8 Duke 83-79. Court storming leaves Filipowski shaken up

Updated Feb. 24, 2024 5:51 p.m. ET

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest did everything it needed Saturday to take a major step toward earning an NCAA Tournament bid, a moment that sent its celebrating fans sprinting onto the court as the clock hit zero.

That moment of exuberance left Duke star Kyle Filipowski hobbled after a collision with a fan, reigniting discussions about the dangers of court storming and overshadowing the afterglow of the Demon Deacons' 83-79 win against the eighth-ranked Blue Devils.

The 7-footer was hobbled when he appeared to bang his right leg into the leg of a fan running by him. Filipowski, who had raised his arms as though to brace for a potential collision, spun off balance and ended up wrapping his arms around a manager and walk-on teammate Stanley Borden for help getting to the locker-room tunnel amid the chaos.

He spoke to reporters after the game with his right knee wrapped in a bag of ice, though he wasn’t significantly limping afterward.


“Just like any other upset game where the fans rush the court, all hell goes crazy,” Filipowski said. “Just trying to get my way off the court, and you know, you’ve got these crazy college students just doing whatever they want. It’s got to be a little more protective when things like that happen.”

Coach Jon Scheyer added: “When are we going to ban court-storming? Like, when are we going to ban that? How many times does a player have to get into something where they get punched or they get pushed or they get taunted right in their face? It’s a dangerous thing.”

Before that moment, the afternoon had been about a huge day for the Demon Deacons (18-9, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), starting with Hunter Sallis scoring 29 points on 11 of 13 shots. He capped the game by hitting two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to finish a contest that featured 14 ties and 14 lead changes.

Andrew Carr scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime, including dominant stretches coming out of the break that had the Demon Deacons feeding him to facilitate out of the post or score over Duke's Mark Mitchell inside.

Wake Forest made 16 of 23 shots (69.6%) after halftime and finished at 60.4% for the game.

“We did a lot of things that a lot of people say that we can't do,” Sallis said.

The vibe in Joel Coliseum certainly befitted the stakes for the Demon Deacons. The team announced a record crowd of more than 14,700 for the first program sellout since 2017, and fans in the lower bowl sported familiar yellow-and-black tie-dyed shirts that harkened back to successful and rowdy days of past success.

“They're not respected the way they should be nationally,” Scheyer said of Wake Forest.

Filipowski had 17 points to lead the Blue Devils (21-6, 12-4) while Jeremy Roach had 16 points. Duke shot 53% in a tightly contested game before Wake Forest snapped the Blue Devils' five-game winning streak.

“I've got to give a lot of credit to my team: They just stayed resilient the whole game,” Demon Deacons coach Steve Forbes said.


Duke: The Blue Devils had won 16 of 18 games since losing their ACC opener at Georgia Tech on Dec. 2, including eight of nine in the past month. But the severity of Filipowski's injury was unclear, and freshman Caleb Foster played just five second-half minutes before leaving the game with an injury that had him walking gingerly afterward.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons (No. 20 in KenPom, No. 27 in the NET) entered Saturday at just 1-5 in Quadrant 1 games that top a postseason resume, with the win coming against Florida (No. 30 in NET) on Nov. 29. Facing the Blue Devils (No. 12 in NET) was by far the best opportunity left to strengthen their case for an NCAA bid compared to March games at Virginia Tech (52nd) and home against Clemson (25th) to end the regular season.


Duke: The Blue Devils return home Wednesday to host eight-win Louisville.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons travel to Notre Dame on Tuesday.


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