March 16, 2002
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Duke had everything go wrong in its second-round NCAA tournament game – except the final score.
Jason Williams had a poor shooting day, Carlos Boozer got into foul trouble, and the defending national champions turned it over 19 times.
Freshman Daniel Ewing came through with a career-high 18-points, though, and top-seeded Duke emerged with an 84-77 victory over Notre Dame in the South Regional on Saturday.
Williams sank the go-ahead free throws with 1:04 left as the Blue Devils (31-3) advanced to the round of 16 for the fifth straight year and 18th time overall.
Eighth-seeded Notre Dame (22-11) got 20 points each from David Graves and Matt Carroll, but the Irish folded down the stretch. Their coach, former Duke assistant Mike Brey, couldn’t pull off the program’s 10th victory over a No. 1-ranked team.
Notre Dame led 71-64 with about 6 minutes left, but was outscored 20-6 the rest of the way to see its dream of pulling off one of the best upsets in tournament history fade.
At one juncture in the second half, Duke was 1-for-7 from the foul line, but sank 11 of 12 free throws over the final 1:47.
Two foul shots by Chris Duhon tied it at 71 with 4:28 left, and the score was tied twice more, the last time at 75 with 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
Williams then made his go-ahead free throws and added two more with 33.9 seconds left, when Duke was clinging to a one-point lead.
Ewing iced it 11 seconds later with two more from the line as Duke improved to 18-3 in its last 21 NCAA games and coach Mike Krzyzewski moved to 14-0 against former assistants.
Notre Dame lost 10 games by a combined 42 points this season before Saturday, so the Irish were confident and didn’t give one inch to the Blue Devils – one of Krzyzewski’s seven 30-win teams.
Mike Dunleavy’s 3-pointer to open the second half gave Duke a 48-39 lead – its largest to that point – but the Blue Devils turned it over five times in the opening 4 1/2 minutes and Notre Dame used a 14-0 run to set up a dramatic final 10 minutes.
Brey, who won two national titles with Krzyzewski in the early ’90s, shook his mentor’s hand prior to the game and the two exchanged a brief hug. Then it was down to business.
Duke had jumped out to leads of 27-7, 21-7 and 39-9 in its last three games, including a 52-15 halftime lead in its first-round game against Winthrop on Thursday.
But the Blue Devils couldn’t forge a double-digit lead on the Irish in the opening 20 minutes as Notre Dame attempted to shut off Boozer’s inside space and forced Duke to the 3-point arc for much of its offense.
On the other end of the court, Notre Dame was able to exploit the Blue Devils inside, scoring nine of its first 11 baskets on either layups or follow shots.
Ryan Humphrey was particularly effective, with nine first-half points, eight rebounds and four blocks. The 6-foot-9 senior let Duke know he was around less than six minutes in when he swatted away shots by Williams and Boozer on consecutive trips down the floor.
Duke’s biggest lead of the period came late. Humphery was called for a foul on Dunleavy and then hit with a technical after hitting Dunleavy in the head after the two became tangled.
Dunleavy sank the four free throws to give Duke a 45-37 lead as the officials called Brey and Krzyzewski together to try to settle the teams downs. After the conversation ended, the two friends shook hands, and Duke went to the locker room up six.