Duke was inches from disposal in the NCAA tournament on Sunday, yet the Blue Devils progressed to the Sweet 16 with 77-76 triumph over UCF.
Zion Williamson completed with a diversion high 32 points and 11 bounce back on Sunday. He brought the Blue Devils inside one point on a layup over Tacko Fall, who was accused of his fifth foul on the play, with 14 seconds remaining. Williamson missed the free toss, yet a bounce back and layup from R.J. Barrett gave Duke a 77-76 triumph.
UCF defeated a 44-36 halftime shortfall to lead Duke in the last minutes. Junior Aubrey Dawkins– – child of UCF head mentor and previous Blue Devils player and associate Johnny Dawkins– – poured in 32 points including five threes.
Sunday’s matchup was billed as a fight among Williamson and UCF center Tacko Fall. The 7’6″ huge man was in a bad position for a significant part of the night, yet scored 15 on 7 of 10 shooting. He put the Knights up 74-70 with a dunk late in the second half, however the hammer was insufficient to push UCF to the Sweet 16.
Duke will confront either Virginia Tech or Liberty in the Sweet 16. Mike Krzyzewski has achieved the second weekend of the NCAA tournament in four of the last five seasons. He is hunting down his first national championship since 2015.