The second-seeded Blue Devils used the perimeter shooting of Seth Curry and the inside dominance of Mason Plumlee to put last season's NCAA tournament upset to rest, beating Albany on Friday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
It was in the same round - and with the same seeding - that Duke was shocked by Lehigh last March.
"Doesn't really matter to us what people are talking about,'' Plumlee said. "We're very confident. I thought it was a good win today, and we're just focused on us.''
MIAMI 78, Pacific 49 - Shane Larkin is sharing a special season with all those Miami seniors.
Larkin, the sophomore who is the only non-senior starter for the Hurricanes and the ACC player of the year, had 10 points and matched his career high with nine assists as No. 2 seed Miami beat Pacific in the East Regional on Friday.
|(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)|
Durand Scott had 21 points with five 3-pointers for the Hurricanes, who already have four wins more than they ever had before. Reggie Johnson had seven points and 10 rebounds.
NORTH CAROLINA 78, Villanova 71 - The NCAA wanted a Kansas v. Ol’ Roy rematch, and they got it. We’re sure Tar Heel Nation is delighted that the game Sunday will be played in the Jayhawks back yard.
P.J. Hairston scored 23 points, James Michael McAdoo added 17 and North Carolina unleashed a flurry of 3-pointers to subdue gritty Villanova in the NCAA tournament Friday night, giving coach Roy Williams his 700th career victory.
The never-say-die Wildcats (20-14) erased a 20-point deficit that North Carolina built in the first half and then nearly climbed out of a nine-point hole in the final minutes after the Tar Heels hit three consecutive 3s and once again appeared to take control.
The victory set up a possible dream matchup in the third round for Kansas fans, who have been jamming the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, about 30 minutes from the Jayhawks' campus. The eighth-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) take on the winner between Western Kentucky and No. 1 seed Kansas, where Williams coached for 15 years and rang up more than 400 wins.
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Temple 76, N.C. STATE 72 - The season of underachieving ended when the Wolfpack lost to Temple. Juniors Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie combined to scored 42 of NC State's 72 points, and senior Richard Howell recorded his 18th double-double of the year, but the Pack's lack luster season that stared with great expectations concluded with a loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Brown finished the day with 22 points and nine assists, while Leslie had 20 points and five rebounds. Howell had a solid performance with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
NC State (24-11), the No. 8 seed, trailed most of the game, but senior Scott Wood began a Wolfpack rally when he hit consecutive 3-pointers to cut the Temple lead to 63-60 with 3:10 left in the game.
The Pack's rally was held off as Temple hit its free throws down the stretch.