With Williamson, Duke is among the favorites to win the championship in Minneapolis. The Blue Devils also didn't have their best version of Cameron Reddish - and for a few uneasy minutes also were without Tre Jones.
And by survived, we really mean it, as Wake Forest's buzzer-beater attempt somehow touched just about every part of the rim but didn't fall through the hoop.
Without Williamson, Duke will have to rely on its other talented players to take down 11-17 Wake Forest.
Williamson has been out since February 20, when he suffered a Grade 1 knee sprain early in the game against the Tar Heels. It's far from a guarantee he'll be back on the floor before the ACC tournament, coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters Tuesday night. The Blue Devils probably will have to do without him entirely for the rematch.
"I don't think I would have been able to forgive myself if, if we lost", White said after the game.
The final shot was completely nerve-wracking for Duke.
Zion Williamson’s Injury Likely To Sideline Star For Duke-North Carolina Rematch
"We're not as good as we are with him-that's the first thing", Krzyzewski explained.
Wake Forest was the team that came out ready to play to start the second half, leading by as many as ten points. On paper, it looked like it would be No. 10.
That's a violation and Wake got the ball. The Blue Devils' will most likely play their first ACC Tournament game March 7. But unlike the Georgia Tech and Boston College games - in which they fell behind at halftime before pulling away for convincing victories - they could never shake the pesky Demon Deacons.
Krzyzewski didn't rule out Williamson returning for Saturday night's regular-season finale at No. 3 North Carolina. "I have to be careful not to push this, but I would be surprised if he wasn't ready by the ACC tournament".
After exiting the game, Jones limped to the locker room. He spent a timeout receiving treatment from the team's medical staff, limped onto the court to hit two free throws and then hobbled back to the bench and eventually the locker room.