Sunday, March 22, 2009

DUKE BACK IN THE SWEET SIXTEEN

No. 2 DUKE 74, No. 7 TEXAS 69 – OK, when Coach K moved Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer to point guard he now, quite obviously, knew what he was doing. Scheyer continues to make heady plays and score consistently for the Blue Devils Blue Devils (30-6).

The book on Duke is simple: play good defense and shoot well. It worked again last night as Gerald Henderson scored 24 points while Kyle Singler added 17 and Scheyer chipped in 13 more while they held Texas’ A.J. Abrams to 17 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

Duke survived Texas’ shooting 50 percent from the field, by making 50 percent of their own shots from behind the arc (7-14) while the Horns made just 3 of 12 three pointers.

The Blue Devils made every clutch play during crunch time in a victory that propelled them into the second weekend of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.

The No. 7 seed Longhorns (23-12) rallied from a late 10-point deficit to tie it twice in the final 2 minutes – the last time coming when Gary Johnson's free throw with 1:07 remaining made it 69-all.

But Duke would make plays, and Texas would not score again.

The weekend was a homecoming of sorts for Texas coach Rick Barnes, who grew up a 90-minute drive away in Hickory, once interviewed for a job on Mike Krzyhnm9ski's staff and spent four seasons at Clemson yelling at Dean Smith. His first victory against the Blue Devils came in 1995 – the last game Krzjkl3ski coached before he took a leave of absence for the remainder because he had a back ache and a lousy team.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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