We can safely say this: we didn’t think it would be anywhere near this easy to beat Arkansas. We thought it would be a real meat grinder. And to an extent, it was, but Duke won 78-69. And it wasn’t quite that close.
Arkansas is a tough, aggressive team that really gets after you. We loved Jaylin Williams and how he played. But in the end, Arkansas just couldn’t stop Duke and particularly Duke’s front line. Mark Williams shot 6-6 and had 12 points, 12 boards, three blocks and a ton of intimidation. AJ Griffin shot 7-9. Paolo Banchero was just 4-11 but he was a major focus and got seven of his 16 at the line. He also fouled out a visibly frustrated Au’Diese Toney.
Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach and Trevor Keels also played well on both ends, combining for 32 points,
The biggest quibble anyone can have with this game is turnovers: Duke had 15 including at least one in winning time that could have been devastating in a tight game.
Consider this: Duke has overcome possibly the two best defenses in the country this year in the last two games and Coach K said Arkansas’s was arguably better than that blanket Texas Tech throws over you.
And Duke won by nine and was in thorough control of this game.
Lots of stuff to review obviously but it’s in the books: Duke is back in the Final Four and awaits the winner of UNC vs. Saint Peter’s Sunday evening.
When asked who he wanted to meet, Paolo Banchero wagged his finger and said “you’re not gonna get me this time!”
Jim will be along soon with his take.
- BEST IN THE WEST: Duke men’s basketball defeats Arkansas to advance to Final Four
- Five observations from Duke men’s basketball’s first half against Arkansas
- Mike Krzyzewski heads to 13th Final Four as Duke takes down Arkansas
- Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin lead Duke basketball to Final Four with win over Arkansas
- Duke vs. Arkansas NCAA Tournament score: Coach K heads to 13th Final Four as Blue Devils pound Razorbacks
- Everybody has a plan until they get hit
Player Of The Game vs. Arkansas
This poll is closed