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Duke Almost Lost To UCF In The Second Round


Photo from Jeff Blake via USA Today Sports

The Duke Blue Devils have been an outstanding team all year with Zion Williamson, R. J. Barrett, and many others. Duke won their conference tournament and only has five losses. Two of those games Zion didn’t play and one of those games Zion played about thirty seconds before he suffered a knee injury. UCF wanted to be Duke’s sixth loss, and they almost were.


With 14 seconds left in the second half, the score was 76 - 73 in UCF’s favor. Zion Williamson had the ball and drove to the basket from the three-point range, in front of Tacko Fall for a layup. Tacko went to block Zion while trying not to receive his fifth foul. While Tacko was trying to stop Zion from scoring, they collided while Tacko was moving backward and Tacko fouled out. Zion ended up making the layup and went to the foul line to shot a free throw. Zion shot the free throw, but it was short and bounced off the rim and into R.J. Barrett’s hands and he quickly put the ball back up, giving Duke a lead of one point, making it 76 - 77. That’s not the end though, as there were still about 12 seconds left.


UCF brought the ball to a little past half court, and then they called a timeout. After the timeout, UCF threw in the ball and went for a fadeaway layup. It didn’t fall, but UCF got the rebound. They put up a shot and it rolled around the rim, but it didn’t fall in. This time, Duke got the rebound and wasted the rest of the clock.


UCF gave Duke and their fans a scare of not making it past the second round, but with a lot of skill and a little luck, Duke will advance to the Sweet Sixteen and possibly further.

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