Duke has won its fifth national championship, defeating Wisconsin 68-63, behind great games by Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen.
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It didn't look like it was going to happen for a good bit of the second half. Wisconsin came out of the locker room and immediately pulled away from Duke, building a five point lead in the first 1:30.
Time out, Duke.
The Blue Devils ultimately fell behind by nine before the Grayson Allen show started.
Boom! Three pointer. Boom! Three point play. Boom! Two free throws. 51-47 Wisconsin.
Then Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow got rolling too. Jones made a three point play. Winslow cut the lead to 54-52 with a pair of free throws. Then Jones tied it with another jumper before Allen made another layup.
Notice a theme here? All the second half points - every single one - were scored by freshmen.
Jones scored a clutch three to put Duke back up 59-58 and after that, with 4:06 left, it was pretty much all Duke.
Okafor came back in and scored a basket with 3:14 left to put Duke up by three, 61-58. He hit another with 2:08 to push the lead to five.
Then Jone hit a backbreaking three to put Duke up by eight, 58-66.
Frank Kaminsky, a great college player, wasn't going down that easily and cut the lead back to five with a deep three.
After Wisconsin's timeout, Tyus Jones got a runout and missed the layup, and right after that, Wisconsin cut the lead back to three on a Nigel Hayes dunk. Jones hit a pair of foul shots to go back up by five, and the final score, 68-63.
Wisconsin had 15 seconds left but couldn't score, and Duke claimed the title.
And while the freshmen were superb, Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones had key roles as well, but on defense. Sam Dekker, who was so hot in this tournament, shot just 6-15 and didn't hit a single three. And when Okafor was on the bench, Jefferson spent a lot of time on Kaminsky, who is much taller, and more than held his own.
Jefferson, by the way, played 21 minutes, had seven rebounds, two assists and three blocks.
Also key: both teams had just five turnovers
We had, and still have, immense respect for Wisconsin. That's an amazing team. So we can't say that Bo Ryan's post-game comments take away from our respect, but what he said was unfortunate:
"I told these guys how proud I was of them," Ryan told CBS Sports' Tracy Wolfson in his post-game interview. "It was just a situation where you just have to be able to handle all the hands and the checking. I mean there was more body contact in this game than any game we played all year. I just feel sorry for my guys that all of the sudden the game was like that. I think they're struggling with that a little bit. We missed some opportunities, they hit some tough shots. It's just a shame that it had to be played that way."
All of a sudden? So he's saying that it happened out of the blue, as it were? Well, if it did, it's his job to adjust to things like that. If he wants to blame, he might blame himself for not adjusting.
And frankly we're not buying it. The Big Ten has always been a physical league. Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Illinois - there's a long tradition in that conference of beating the holy crap out of each other. It's even been a point of pride - not like the Big East used to be, but still there.
So we'll just mark that down to a painful disappointment by a great competitor.
With the win, Duke now moves to another elite level. UCLA has 11 titles, Kentucky has eight, and Indiana, UNC and now Duke have five each.
And the conversation about Coach K's place in history moves to another level too. Could John Wooden have excelled like he did in today's game? Impossible to answer - but Krzyzewski certainly has. He now has more titles than Dean Smith, Roy Williams and Gary Williams combined.
Take a while to savor this, Duke fans. The back-to-back teams were Duke's best. The 2001 team was also superb. The 2010 team was unbelievably tough-minded. And this one?
It will go down as the most remarkable in some ways because it was led to glory by four star freshmen, who gave Duke a core as sturdy as many of the older teams they defeated since late February. Add the immense improvement of Quinn Cook as a leader, the willing sacrifices made by Jefferson, who is a major unsung hero, the always hard-charging Marshall Plumlee and the defense - and occasionally offense - of Matt Jones, and what do you have? You have not just champions. You have Duke's most unusual champions of all. This is an amazing group and they earned everything they got.