Hampton University couldn't give up open looks for 3-pointers. Three of Duke's first six baskets were 3-pointers.
The Pirates couldn't allow offensive rebounds. Eight of Duke's first 13 points came on second, or third, chances.
The die cast early, top-seeded Duke was too tall, focused and precise in an 87-45 wipeout Friday in an NCAA tournament West Region game at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
"We ran into a different animal," HU coach Ed Joyner Jr. said. "I mean, it was a lion. (We have) never been to the tournament before. This year was a first for us and we understood that. We made a lot of mistakes early. Those things happen when your nerves sometimes get the best of you."
The Pirates (24-9), MEAC tournament champs, were making their fourth NCAA tournament appearance as a Division I program. They suffered the program's most lopsided loss since a 98-54 setback at Clemson to start the 2004-05 season.
"Many a day," Joyner said, "I think everybody, every college team (watches) TV and says, 'I want to play Duke. I want to see what it's like to play Duke.' We surely found out. But as I told this team, take it as a learning experience. And me being a second-year head coach, it was a learning experience for me."
Duke (31-4) gets eighth-seeded Michigan on Sunday in a round-of-32 game. The Wolverines (21-13) destroyed Tennessee 75-45 in Friday's first game, the most lopsided 8 vs. 9 meeting in the history of the tournament.
Duke freshman Kyrie Irving, in his first game action in three months, led four Blue Devils in double figures with 14 points. But several of his baskets came with the outcome long decided.
The Blue Devils were exceptional at both ends of the floor. Hampton's 45 points tied its season low, and the Pirates shot just 34.5 percent from the field.
Meanwhile, Duke's 87 points were the most against Hampton, and its 53.3-percent shooting was the best this season against the Pirates, who came in third in the nation in field goal percentage defense.
"I thought we were very sharp for the full 40 minutes," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "I think it showed the amount of respect we have for Hampton. To be champions of the MEAC and so well coached, good kids, and we played really well today for the full 40 minutes."
Darrion Pellum and Charles Funches led the Pirates with nine points apiece. Kwame Morgan, the Pirates' second-leading scorer at 16.5 per game, didn't get his first points until a 3-pointer almost two minutes into the second half with HU trailing by 25.
"They're a tough defensive team," HU guard Brandon Tunnell said. "They disrupted our offense early. Our offense is based on movement and player movement. When they're denying the passing lanes, it's hard to get our offense started."
HU's perimeter threats Pellum, Morgan, Tunnell, Mike Tuitt and Chris Tolson periodically slipped past the first defender, but often found the lengthy Plumlee brothers, Mason and Miles, or Ryan Kelly blocking paths to the basket.
"It's tough being down there," said Funches, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound post player who often gave up a couple of inches and as many as 40 pounds per man to Duke's frontcourt players.
"During the game, it wears down on you, that size," he said. "I guess they wore down on us, and we couldn't hit the boards like we would like to."
The Blue Devils routinely found open spaces against HU's zone defense, for open jump shots, sometimes in the lane, occasionally behind the back line for alley-oop passes and baskets.
The game's first basket was an open Seth Curry 3-pointer from the left corner. The second was a Nolan Smith lob inside to Miles Plumlee for a layup. The third was Miles Plumlee's easy follow of brother Mason's miss.
The Blue Devils stepped on the gas to start the second half, as well, scoring on five of their first six possessions to extend a 17-point halftime lead.
Smith's soaring breakaway dunk after HU's fourth turnover of the half extended the lead to 55-25 less than four minutes in. The remainder of the game was an exercise with uniforms.
"We didn't have the showing that we would like," Joyner said. "Many people would say many things. Many of them are saying it and watching us. We do understand that. We're going to do whatever we have to do to try to get back here again and do better."