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NCAA Tournament 2018: Kansas Knocks Duke Out In OT, 85-81

As the season ends in the Elite Eight.

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Duke v Kansas
OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: Wendell Carter Jr #34 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after fouling out against the Kansas Jayhawks during overtime in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at CenturyLink Center on March 25, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Duke nearly took Kansas out in regulation, missing two late attempts, including one by Grayson Allen that rolled around the rim before falling out as time expired. Kansas dominated overtime behind Malik Newman who finished with 32 points.

Duke finishes the season 29-8 having advanced farther than any ACC team other than surprising Florida State.

This was a fascinating game in many respects. Each team countered the other’s tactics intelligently with neither side able to gain a significant advantage. Duke limited Udoka Azubuike to nine and Devonte Graham to 11.

Kansas did a solid job on Marvin Bagley and especially Wendell Carter inside for most of the game and Carter was particularly frustrated. He picked up two early fouls and then a third and he never got in a rhythm. He didn’t get a rebound until quite late in the game. Carter finished with 10 points, most of them quite late, but just two rebounds. He fouled out and only got 22 minutes. The other four starters got at least 43 each.

Kansas doubled Bagley as often as possible, greatly limiting his inside game. He finished with a double-double - 16 points and 10 boards - but Kansas certainly limited his effectiveness.

Duke managed to keep pace partly due to an outstanding overall game by Trevon Duval. The freshman guard was exceptionally alert and penetrated consistently, finishing with 20 points, six assists, two steals and four turnovers.

Although Gary Trent was not hitting from three point range, the freshman finished with 17 on 7-18 on the floor.

Senior Grayson Allen finished his career hitting 3-13. He came really close to hitting the game winner in regulation on a twisting move in the lane...but the ball rolled around the rim twice and rimmed out.

Anyone who’s played at all has seen a shot like that. It’s just too bad it came at the end.

Kansas just owned overtime completely, thanks to Newman, who scored all 13 Jayhawk points in the extra frame.

Duke kept up until he hit a three with 1:51 left to push Kansas out in front 81-78. He hit four more free throws down the stretch. Duke meanwhile just made too many mistakes to deserve to win.

In the end, Duke ran into the same problem it ran into in most of its losses: more experienced and tougher teams knew what to do in these types of games. Duke’s freshmen are gifted - wildly gifted really - but you can’t replicate experience. When you look at the Final Four - Michigan, Loyola, Villanova and Kansas - they’re all vastly more experienced than Duke. It’s just very tough to get past that imbalance. Talent is critical, but obviously, it’s not everything.

So it’s Season’s End. We’re sure that Bagley and Carter are off to the draft and it won’t surprise if Trent and Duval follow them. We’ll see soon who’s back and where things go from here. It’s been a fun season with such a dynamic pair of big men and we’ll follow them in the NBA with great interest.

Finally, a word for Kansas. People have doubted that team all year long. We have at times. It had a thin roster and injuries, yet it just perservered. It’s a very tough group and we expect they’ll do well in the Final Four. Certainly they are deserving regional champions and we congratulate them for a tremendously impressive win over Duke. Well done, Jayhawks.

And in particular we’d like to congratulate Raleigh native Graham. We’ve followed him since he was at Broughton High and he’s grown tremendously. We couldn’t be happier for him.


Player of the game vs. Kansas

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Grayson Allen
    (58 votes)
  • 6%
    Marvin Bagley
    (52 votes)
  • 4%
    Wendell Carter
    (37 votes)
  • 3%
    Gary Trent
    (29 votes)
  • 71%
    Trevon Duval
    (615 votes)
  • 1%
    Marques Bolden
    (15 votes)
  • 1%
    Javin DeLaurier
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Alex O’ Connell
    (38 votes)
856 votes total Vote Now

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