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No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 5 Duke faced off late Friday night inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a matchup that pitted Blue Devils freshman star Paolo Banchero and Zags freshman star Chet Holmgren against one another in a rare head-to-head battle between two of the top NBA Draft prospects in the same class. And Banchero stole the show. 

In an impressive 84-81 win for his Duke team, Banchero, who had 20 points at halftime, finished with 21 points after a dazzling first-half display of his NBA-level skills in front of a ton of professional evaluators who were on hand to see Holmgren vs. Banchero in person. 

Holmgren acquitted himself well, too, despite dealing with foul trouble throughout as he finished with 16 points, seven boards and three blocks. And, after a slow start, he helped keep Gonzaga in it down the stretch.

Still, it was a big night for Banchero that could've been an even bigger one if not for cramps stunting his momentum in the second half. His shot-making was on full display as he made deep 3-pointers on movement like a shooting guard, pulled down rebounds and ran the floor like a lead guard and generally flashed versatility and polish that, right now, has him on an inside track to going No. 1 overall in 2022.

Banchero vs. Holmgren: By the numbers

Individual statistics for Duke's Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren in the No. 5 Blue Devils 84-81 victory vs. the No. 1 Zags on Friday.

3-point FGs3-80-3

Banchero vs. Holmgren: Film room

Below is a breakdown of the head-to-head battle from Friday that -- fittingly -- started with the first possession of the night: a win for Holmgren affecting Banchero's shot. 

From then on, though, it was all Banchero in the first half. His first points came after Duke targeted Holmgren in a ball screen at the top of the key, which forced Holmgren to switch onto Mark Williams in the paint. Banchero calmly walked into a mid-ranger.

That's when Banchero's confidence began to crescendo. There was a coast-to-coast rebound and run opportunity shortly after in which he operated as point forward.

There was a ridiculous pull up 3-pointer in transition.

Then, Banchero went right at Holmgren and just out-muscled him in the paint for a hoop and the harm.

Oh, but Banchero wasn't done. He again went coast-to-coast in transition and finished with a beautiful alley-oop lob to his teammate. Then, again, he pulled up deep in transition for a 3-pointer to finish off his most impressive stretch of the night.

Holmgren flashed some pizazz, too, hitting a Kevin Durant-like fadeaway before the break:

Out of the second half, he swatted a Banchero shot, too.

Finally, Holmgren showed some aggressiveness -- after playing timid for most of the game -- by attacking Banchero in the paint. He finishes here with an easy lay-in after cleaning up his own miss. It was clear Banchero's size and physicality helped him edge Holmgren, but Holmgren did compete well and his length and size was a factor all night, particularly on defense.

Banchero vs. Holmgren: Final verdict

Statistically, Holmgren vs. Banchero turned out to be a pretty matchup on paper. Holmgren dominated on defense with his length and disruptiveness. Banchero scored at will in the first half and opened up Duke's offense with his ability to create. And the two finished with similar stat lines. But Friday felt like a moment in time that will be referenced frequently in the coming months. Banchero was clearly the best player on the floor in a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects in the 2022 class. 

There's a lot of ball left to be played and scouting could, and likely will, evolve in the coming months ahead of the draft. But the race for the No. 1 pick seems to have been sorted itself out for now, as Banchero used the platform as a springboard to take the early lead as the top dog in this class until further notice.