NCAA tournament: Duke finds way past Syracuse in tense Sweet 16 matchup of ACC rivals - http://allcharts.co.za | Breaking NewsMarch 24, 2018 4:52 am
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SportsPulse: After some stunning results in Thursday’s Sweet 16 games, the Elite Eight is beginning to take shape. USA TODAY Sports
OMAHA – No. 2 Duke edged past an ACC rival, beating No. 11 Syracuse 69-65.
Duke outzoned – or at least outlasted – Syracuse. As happens to so many of Syracuse’s opponents, Duke struggled to score – and open three-pointers just wouldn’t drop. The Blue Devils were 5-of-26 from three-point range, and senior guard Grayson Allen was 3-of 14. Freshman big man Marvin Bagley III scored 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including several alley-oops when he somehow escaped notice beneath Syracuse’s zone. And as happens so often to Syracuse, the Orange couldn’t find much offense, period. The discrepancy was just enough.
Midway through the second half, Duke sandwiched three-pointers by Gary Trent Jr. and Grayson Allen around a Syracuse turnover – a forced 10-second count against Duke pressure — turning a three-point lead into nine, 48-39. The Blue Devils were in control most of the way after that.
With less than two minutes left and the shot clock about to expire, Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett drilled a 15-footer to pull Syracuse within 63-60. But Trent scored on a short jump shot, pushing Duke’s lead back to five points, and the Blue Devils closed it out with free throws. Trent hit two with 6 seconds left to seal victory.
Duke (29-7) moves into the Elite Eight to face No. 1 Kansas. The Blue Devils are seeking their 17th Final Four appearance and their first since 2015, when they won their fifth national championship. No. 11 Syracuse’s unexpected run through the NCAA Tournament ended. Syracuse (23-14) was the last at-large team selected, and had to win a play-in game, then two more to get to the Sweet 16.
IMAGES FROM THE SWEET 16 OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT