UCF
24-9
76
TF 8
FINAL
End
2nd
CBS
Sun Mar. 24
5:25pm
BONUS
77
TF 11
ML: +771
DUKE -13.5, O/U 142.5
ML: -1170
UCF
DUKE

No Text

Williamson, Duke survive UCF's late misses, reach Sweet 16

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Zion Williamson took on 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall at the end and won. So did top-seeded Duke - barely - when two last-ditch shots by UCF rolled off the rim.

Williamson had 32 points and helped rally the Blue Devils from behind in the final minute for a 77-76 victory Sunday to reach the Sweet 16.

Aubrey Dawkins finished with 32 points for the Knights, but his tip-in try just missed in the final seconds.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski ''talks a lot about the basketball gods,'' a happy Williamson said. ''They had our backs today.''

Williamson was key to the comeback. He made a layup over Fall with 14.4 seconds left to draw Duke within a point as Fall fouled out on the play. Williamson missed the free throw, but RJ Barrett scored on a putback to put the Blue Devils (31-5) ahead.

Barrett said he had watched plenty of NCAA Tournament games where players missed foul shots and an offensive rebound could have made the difference.

''I was going to do whatever I can to get this rebound,'' he said.

Ninth-seeded UCF (24-9) had a final chance. Two of them, actually, from in close.

B.J. Taylor missed a short jumper, and Dawkins failed on his tip attempt with less than two seconds left, the ball spinning off the rim. Duke got the rebound, ran out the clock and moved on to the Sweet 16 for 27th time and fourth time in the past five years.

''It was up there forever, I felt like, in slow motion,'' Dawkins said.

Dawkins cringed at the miss. His father, Johnny, is the UCF coach and was a former Duke star and longtime assistant under Krzyzewski. The two coaches shared a long embrace at midcourt after it was over.

''It's tough,'' the elder Dawkins said. ''I love that man. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today.''

Barrett finished with 16 points.

It looked as if Dawkins might take down his dad's alma mater in the NCAAs.

His last basket broke a 70-all tie, and when Fall dunked Taylor's miss - the play was reviewed for a possible shot-clock violation - the Knights were ahead 74-70.

UCF missed a huge chance to go up six when it couldn't connect on an alley-oop dunk attempt with 1:49 left - Dayon Griffin's lob went off Dawkins' hands as he soared toward the rim - and Cam Reddish came back with a 3-pointer for Duke. Taylor it made 76-73 with two foul shots with 45 seconds to go.

Williamson then missed a 3, but Duke grabbed the rebound and got the ball back to their high-flying freshman. Williams caught a pass left of the key and dribbled straight into Fall's 7-6, 310-pound frame.

Fall had stuffed Williamson three previous times, and Duke's young star was less effective underneath than he'd been his past four games. But Williamson got this shot to drop, shouting as he fell hard to the ground.

''I just tried to stay big and make a play,'' Fall said. ''Obviously, I was in foul trouble, so I was being careful. But I just tried to make a play and make him miss and it didn't go my way.''

When Duke dribbled away with the final rebound, Williamson and his teammates jumped in celebration and relief. They were moving on.

Duke will face fourth-seeded Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C., on Friday night for a spot in the Elite Eight.

Williamson, the game's most explosive player, was clearly affected by Fall. Who wouldn't be as the Knights senior stood 11 inches taller than Williamson and has a wingspan of 8-foot-4?

With Fall inside, Williamson went to the perimeter, hitting three 3-pointers after entering with just 18 on the season. When Fall was hit with foul trouble, Williamson charged to the hoop.

Fall finished with 15 points and six rebounds in his final college game.

Trailing 34-32 in the final four minutes of the opening half, Williamson hit a short jumper, and then collected Jordan Goldwire's miss for a three-point play. Barrett added a three-point play and Williamson threw a one-handed bounce pass to a streaking Jones for an easy layup as Duke led 44-36 at the break.

Williamson had 15 points in the first half, but had not dunked on the tall Fall - mainly because UCF's center played just eight minutes due to foul trouble.

BIG PICTURE

UCF: The Knights will have some big shoes to fill (size 22) next season with Fall's senior season complete. They also lose Taylor, the point guard who has started 101 of 104 games since arriving at UCF in 2014-15. UCF has a solid core of experienced starters returning, led by Dawkins, who was second on the team in scoring average at 15.1 points a game.

Duke: The Blue Devils have had too many tentative stretches in their first two games, but their overwhelming talent edge saved them against North Dakota State in the opening round and UCF in this one. Duke will need to be more consistent if it hopes to make a championship run.

COUNTING ON FRESHMAN

Duke's four freshmen carried the load against UCF. The quartet combined for 72 of 77 points in the victory, with Javin DeLaurier and Goldwire the only other scorers for the Blue Devils. ''We're not deep,'' Krzyzewski said. ''But we are good.''

UP NEXT

UCF's season is over.

Duke advances to play fourth-seeded Virginia Tech or 12th-seeded Liberty in the Sweet 16 at Washington, D.C., on Friday night.

---

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Key Players
B. Taylor
1 G
R. Barrett
5 F
34.9 Min. Per Game 34.9
23.0 Pts. Per Game 23.0
4.1 Ast. Per Game 4.1
7.7 Reb. Per Game 7.7
38.4 Field Goal % 45.7
37.2 Three Point % 31.3
77.9 Free Throw % 66.2
  Offensive rebound by UCF 0.0
  Aubrey Dawkins missed tip-in 0.0
  Offensive rebound by Aubrey Dawkins 3.0
  BJ Taylor missed layup 4.0
  Full timeout called 8.0
+ 2 RJ Barrett made layup 12.0
  Offensive rebound by RJ Barrett 14.0
  Zion Williamson missed free throw 14.0
  Shooting foul on Tacko Fall 14.0
+ 2 Zion Williamson made driving layup 14.0
  Offensive rebound by Javin DeLaurier 30.0
Team Stats
Points 76 77
Field Goals 26-54 (48.1%) 30-67 (44.8%)
3-Pointers 9-18 (50.0%) 10-25 (40.0%)
Free Throws 15-20 (75.0%) 7-12 (58.3%)
Total Rebounds 34 36
Offensive 7 13
Defensive 22 22
Team 5 1
Assists 16 15
Steals 5 8
Blocks 5 3
Turnovers 11 8
Fouls 16 18
Technicals 0 0
32 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST
32 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo 9 UCF 24-9 364076
home team logo 1 Duke 31-5 443377
Team Stats
away team logo 9 UCF 24-9 72.3 PPG 40.9 RPG 13.3 APG
home team logo 1 Duke 31-5 82.7 PPG 43.7 RPG 15.9 APG
Key Players
15
A. Dawkins G 15.6 PPG 5.0 RPG 1.4 APG 46.3 FG%
1
Z. Williamson F 22.6 PPG 8.9 RPG 2.1 APG 68.0 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Dawkins G 32 PTS 3 REB 4 AST
Z. Williamson F 32 PTS 11 REB 4 AST
48.1 FG% 44.8
50.0 3PT FG% 40.0
75.0 FT% 58.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Dawkins 32 3 4 12/18 5/7 3/3 1 40 3 0 4 2 1
B. Taylor 15 4 3 2/10 2/6 9/10 2 39 1 0 1 0 4
T. Fall 15 6 0 7/10 0/0 1/3 5 25 0 3 0 3 3
C. Smith 4 8 0 2/7 0/0 0/1 2 27 1 1 3 1 7
T. Allen 3 4 7 1/4 1/2 0/0 4 35 0 0 2 0 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Dawkins 32 3 4 12/18 5/7 3/3 1 40 3 0 4 2 1
B. Taylor 15 4 3 2/10 2/6 9/10 2 39 1 0 1 0 4
T. Fall 15 6 0 7/10 0/0 1/3 5 25 0 3 0 3 3
C. Smith 4 8 0 2/7 0/0 0/1 2 27 1 1 3 1 7
T. Allen 3 4 7 1/4 1/2 0/0 4 35 0 0 2 0 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Brown 4 1 0 1/1 0/0 2/3 2 12 0 1 0 1 0
D. Griffin 3 2 2 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 16 0 0 1 0 2
F. Bertz 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 1
C. McSpadden - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. DeJesus - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Catotti - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Famouke Doumbia - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Douglas - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Grant - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Renaud - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Anders - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Fuller Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 76 29 16 26/54 9/18 15/20 16 200 5 5 11 7 22
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Z. Williamson 32 11 4 12/24 3/7 5/7 4 40 1 0 3 4 7
R. Barrett 16 8 4 6/15 2/3 2/3 0 40 1 0 2 3 5
C. Reddish 13 4 2 5/8 3/4 0/0 4 32 0 1 1 0 4
T. Jones 11 3 4 5/15 1/8 0/0 2 40 1 0 2 1 2
J. DeLaurier 2 8 0 1/1 0/0 0/2 4 24 3 2 0 4 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Z. Williamson 32 11 4 12/24 3/7 5/7 4 40 1 0 3 4 7
R. Barrett 16 8 4 6/15 2/3 2/3 0 40 1 0 2 3 5
C. Reddish 13 4 2 5/8 3/4 0/0 4 32 0 1 1 0 4
T. Jones 11 3 4 5/15 1/8 0/0 2 40 1 0 2 1 2
J. DeLaurier 2 8 0 1/1 0/0 0/2 4 24 3 2 0 4 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Goldwire 3 1 1 1/3 1/3 0/0 2 15 2 0 0 1 0
M. Bolden 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 2 9 0 0 0 0 0
B. Besser - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Robinson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Vrankovic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. White - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. O'Connell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Buckmire - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Baker - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 35 15 30/67 10/25 7/12 18 200 8 3 8 13 22