The No.2 Duke Blue Devils (22-2) showed why most of the pundits see them as the biggest favorites for this year’s NCAA title. The boys from Durham made a terrific comeback in the second half against No.16 Lousiville Cardinals (17-8), after being down 23 points in the second half.
In the end, it was 71-69 for coach Krzyzewski’s boys. This is the 2nd largest comeback in the second half for the Blue Devils in their history.
"He said he don't coach losers, only coach winners."
Zion shared how Coach K got his team to rally back from a 23-point deficit. pic.twitter.com/EtCtEzJTET
— ESPN (@espn) February 13, 2019
After Jordan Nwora’s three with 9:58 until the end, Louisville was up 59-36, and the fans at the KFC Yum! Center already started celebrating. But that turned out to be a huge mistake, and something they shouldn’t do.
Zion Williamson and the boys started pounding really hard and they made a 21-4 run which cut the deficit to only two points. Zion was excellent on both ends even though he had 4 fouls for a long time.
Cam Reddish stepped up and hit some big-time shots. When the game was on the line in the final minutes, Reddish first made a huge three to tie the result, with 1:29 before the end, and then scored both of his free throws to put Duke in front two points with only 14 seconds to go.
Cam Reddish UNCONSCIOUS to tie the game at a very nice score pic.twitter.com/5H8B5CyytL
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) February 13, 2019
Those were the last points in this event because Christen Cunningham missed a game-tying jump shot with three seconds to go. Zion picked up the ball, and the huge celebration on Blue Devils bench started.
Williamson posted a strong double-double, 27 points, and 12 boards, along with three steals tonight. Reddish was awful from a distance making only 4 of his 14 three-point attempts, but when needed the most he was able to deliver. Duke’s forward had 22 points. RJ Barrett scored 13 with 7 boards and 4 dimes.
On the other side, Jordan Nwora hit 5 threes and delivered 23 points and 12 boards. Dwyane Sutton helped with 15 buckets and 6 boards, while Steven Enoch had 14 off the bench.
The Cardinals are hosting Clemson this Saturday and if by any chance, they lose that one also, it is quite possible to see them out of Top 25 poll.
Meanwhile, Blue Devils are still chasing Tennessee Volunteers and the No.1 seed. Their next opponents are going to be the North Carolina State Wolfpack also on Saturday. The game will be played at Durham.