There was plenty of excitement about Williamson making his return from injury for Duke ahead of their ACC quarter-final against Syracuse.

But there was also some trepidation from some corners expressing concern about whether Williamson returning would be too much of a risk.

Those concerns were quickly doused in the opening two minutes when Williamson stole the ball away from Frank Howard before racing up the floor to throw it down with authority.

And the 18-year-old continued to dominate for the entire game, finishing with 29 points.

But most impressively was the fact he went a perfect 13-for-13 from the field while also recording 14 rebounds, five steals, two assists and one block.

Williamson clearly felt no issues in his knee and will now be focussing on helping Duke win a national championship.

And the 18-year-old insists choosing to shut it down until the NBA draft was never going to be an option for him.

“It felt great,” he said on ESPN.

“I love this game, I love my teammates, so people who thought I wasn’t going to return they weren’t smart.

“I love playing with Duke. I love my teammates and it was great to be back.”

He added: “I come ready to kill every game, so it was just great to get back on the court.”

Duke will now face North Carolina on Friday night for a spot in the ACC championship game.

UNC are the only team to have claimed the sweep over Duke this season, including a win in the game in which Williamson got hurt.

It promises to be another thrilling match-up in the latest chapter of the North Carolina-Duke rivalry, with the game set to tip-off at 1am (GMT).



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