GREENSBORO — Head coach Mike Krzyzewski had said Thursday evening that a Duke-Texas matchup didn’t sound like a second-round NCAA Tournament matchup. On Saturday in Greensboro Coliseum, his words proved prophetic as the last minutes delved into the pandemonium that has come to define March Madness.
A 10-point lead erased. A clutch tip-in followed by a critical fifth foul. A tie game with less than a minute remaining. A potential game-changing 3-pointer for Texas that rimmed in, around and out of the net with less than 40 seconds left. A freshman missing free throws that would have sealed the game.
And that was just the warm-up to a defining play by an overlooked senior that finally, for the first time since 2006, put Duke into the Sweet 16.
Dave McClure tipped Elliot Williams’ miss with less than 11 seconds left into the open court, allowing Gerald Henderson to hit the deck for the loose ball. When he nailed both his free throws after the Longhorns fouled him, No. 2 Duke (30-6) had finally secured a 74-69 victory over No. 7 Texas (23-12). The Blue Devils play No. 3 Villanova Saturday in Boston.
“That was a big-time man’s game,” Krzyzewski said. “I love my team immensely, and I’m happy for them, especially after beating such a good team.”