Sunday, March 25, 2018|5:01 p.m.
OMAHA, Neb.– Malik Newman and top-seeded Kansas got past their Elite 8 roadway block on Sunday, knocking off second-seeded Duke 85-81 in overtime in a thrilling Midwest Region ending that clinched the Jayhawks’ first trip to the Last Four considering that 2012.
Newman scored all 13 of the Jayhawks’ points in overtime and completed with a career-high 32 to lead Kansas (31-7). The Jayhawks will face fellow front runner Villanova in San Antonio on Saturday after snapping a two-game losing skid in the regional finals.
This was college basketball at its finest– 2 blue bloods trading blows for 45 minutes in exactly what was probably the best video game of the competition up until now, one that included 18 lead modifications and 11 ties.
However Newman drilled his 5th and last 3 from the corner to make it 81-78 with 1:49 left. Newman followed with 4 straight free throws, and the Jayhawks defense stiffened enough to knock the preferred Blue Devils from the tournament.
Trevon Duval scored 20 points for Duke. Freshman star and future lottery game choice Marvin Bagley added 16 points and 10 rebounds in what could have been his final game for Duke (29-8), which fell shy its very first Last Four trip given that winning the national title in 2015.
Grayson Allen had 12 points for the Blue Devils, however the senior’s 10-foot bank chance at the regulation buzzer went in and after that from the rim before spinning away to force overtime.
THE BIG PHOTO
Kansas: This may be the unlikeliest of coach Costs Self’s three Last Four teams. They are not stacked with apparent future NBA beginners and they lost 3 times in your home this season. However the Jayhawks united to win the Huge 12’s regular season and conference titles and now the Midwest Region. By doing so, they proved to their coach that they were barely soft– a claim that Self had actually made frequently previously in the season.
Duke: The Blue Devils may see 4 of their freshman stars bolt for the NBA Draft, an expected exodus led by Bagley, a likely top-five choice. Duke will likewise lose Allen, among the very best gamers in school history. Do not weep for Coach K, who has four luxury employees dedicated to join the program next year. But this season will likely be kept in mind as a lost opportunity for a program that expects to make the Final 4 more often than not.