PITTSBURGH—Like it has so often for the Blue Devils this season, when the scoring started, it came in bunches. 

Once the buckets started raining down, there was nothing Rhode Island could do to stop arguably the most talented offensive group in the country at its best.

Second-seeded Duke rolled past the seventh-seeded Rams 87-62 at PPG Paints Arena Saturday afternoon, using an electric 23-5 run in the first half to seize control and advance to its third Sweet 16 in the last four years. The Blue Devils overpowered Rhode Island with their size and demoralized the Rams with their shooting, converting on 56.9 percent of their attempts with success both inside and out.

"From start to finish. It was one of our best games, and I thought we played in a very mature manner," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We shared the ball real well. We were patient. The big guys were not getting the ball early, the perimeter scored, and then the big guys started getting the ball. That's the maturity that you like to see."

The win was the 1,099th victory of Krzyzewski's career, pushing him past Pat Summitt for the most Division I wins ever in either men's or women's basketball.

After a slow start in which the Blue Devils (28-7) struggled to score for the first eight minutes and found themselves trailing, all five of their starters played a part in the decisive run. Wendell Carter Jr. put them in front with a deep 2-pointer, the last time the lead needed to change hands, and Gary Trent Jr. and Grayson Allen both drilled 3-pointers to help Duke score nine straight points in just over a minute.

From there, freshman point guard Trevon Duval drove into the lane to convert a contested floater and Marvin Bagley III spun and finished at the rim twice as the Blue Devils continued expanding their lead.

"We just had to keep going, keep believing," Duval said. "Coach told us to play with passion throughout the whole game, and once we started to play with passion and not really try to think we were going to win, everything took care of itself."

By the time Duval knocked down a 3-pointer from several feet behind the arc with 17 seconds left in the first half, Rhode Island was left searching for answers, staring at a 17-point deficit heading into the locker room at the half. 

Duval had another strong showing as a facilitator, getting the ball to the Blue Devil big men for seven assists and only turning the ball over once against one of the most opportunistic defenses in the country on a dribble that he swore went off his defender's foot.

The Rams (26-8) came out of the locker room with their shoulders slumped and their hands on their knees and never had a chance to make it a competitive game after the break.

"They played an A-plus game. They looked like an NBA team out there with their size and length," Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley said. "We would have needed a C-plus game from them just to have a chance today to be competitive. Those guys, that was the best display of basketball I've seen played against one of my Rhode Island teams in six years."

Guarded primarily by 6-foot-4 guard Stanford Robinson, a 6-foot-11 Bagley used his size advantage to comfortably turn and shoot or dunk over his defenders when he got position in the post. He scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead the team, and all five of Duke's starters finished in double figures. Saturday marked the 16th time this season Bagley has scored more than 20 points. 

"They try to front. They try to do different things, throw different things at me that I haven’t seen, so my thing is just being patient, not trying to force anything, letting the ball come to me," Bagley said. "In the second half, the game opened up. My teammates found me in the right spots, and that’s how we continued to take our lead up."

The Rams' lone big man—6-foot-8, 275-pound Andre Berry—was overwhelmed by Carter's skillset and had several rebounds and passes glance off his fingertips when he had chances to contribute. Carter put on a clinic under the basket, making all six of his shots from the field by running the floor for multiple dunks and unleashing an impressive repertoire of low-post moves.

The Blue Devils outrebounded Rhode Island 36-29 and challenged its guards from the bottom of their 2-3 zone whenever they tried to penetrate toward the rim. With the driving lanes closed up, the Rams' offense was absent. Leading scorer and senior guard Jared Terrell finished with only 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

"We knew they had two really good scorers in Terrell and [E.C.] Matthews. They are really good shooters, and we didn't want to let them get hot," Allen said. "We were very active getting our hands on a lot of passes. And Wendell did an amazing job protecting the rim. He's contesting shots and then getting back up and grabbing the rebound, too."

After surviving the first weekend, Duke will take the floor again Friday night in Omaha, Neb., to face either third-seeded Michigan State or No. 11 seed Syracuse in the Sweet 16. Those two teams will play Sunday afternoon in the second round at approximately 2:40.

"We can do a little more. We’re not going to be satisfied with this just because we won this game," Bagley said. "We’ve got to keep continuing to figure out what we need to do to make us even better. That’s the motivation."