Duke survives Michigan State and reaches Sweet 16

GREENVILLE, SC — Duke survived some tense moments in the closing minutes against Michigan State and extended Mike Krzyzewski’s last NCAA tournament run by beating Tom Izzo’s Spartans 85-76 in Sunday’s bittersweet Hall of Fame Coaches final battle.

Star freshman Paolo Banchero scored 19 points and was muscular on the go-ahead drive-through contact with 2:05 left, giving the Blue Devils (30-6) a lead by the record-extending 1,200. to keep winning in Krzyzewski’s career. Duke made his 26th sweet 16 under Coach K, who announced last summer that his 42nd season with the Blue Devils would be his last.

These coaching milestones went up against his longtime friend and frequent rival. 75-year-old Krzyzewski – who has five NCAA titles and a record-breaking 12 Final Four appearances – improved to 13-3 against 67-year-old Izzo, who won the 2000 national championship and has reached eight Final Fours.

Krzyzewski will continue his quest for a career-capping championship when the second-placed Blue Devils travel to San Francisco to play Notre Dame or Texas Tech in next week’s West Region semifinals.

Mike Krzyzewski celebrates Duke's win with Wendell Moore.
Mike Krzyzewski celebrates Duke’s win with Wendell Moore.

The Blue Devils shot 61% after halftime and 57% for the game, and they needed every bit of that performance to hold their own against seventh-seeded Spartans (23-13) in a gripping last-minute battle.

Michigan State had a five-point lead with five minutes left, but Banchero made the big play his coach needed and Jeremy Roach followed by drilling a 3-pointer late in the shot clock for a four-point advantage.

“It was a great game and they threw us back. So proud of my boys and for a young group they have shown incredible courage,” Krzyzewski said on the CBS show.

Gabe Brown scored 18 points to lead Michigan State while Tyson Walker scored all 13 of his points after halftime. Duke survives Michigan State and reaches Sweet 16


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