SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Eric Atkins scored seven of his 19 points during a decisive 20-4 run to lead Notre Dame to a 79-77 upset of No. 7 Duke on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference debut for the Fighting Irish.
Two weeks after squandering an eight-point lead in the final 50 seconds against No. 3 Ohio State at Madison Square Garden, the Irish (10-4, 1-0) managed to hold on to improve to 13-6 against top 10 teams at home under Mike Brey.
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The Irish were able to pull the upset despite being without leading scorer Jerian Grant, who was dismissed from school for an academic violation the day after the Ohio State loss.
It was the first loss in an ACC opener for the Blue Devils (11-3, 0-1) in seven seasons.
Rodney Hood led the Blue Devils with 27 points, including making 5 of 10 from 3-point range as Duke was 12 of 28 from beyond the arc.