Duke and UCF had an absolutely thrilling game on Sunday as the two schools vied for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The tense back-and-forth was punctuated by repeated 3-pointers thrown by Zion Williamson, Duke’s star player.
Against tough opposition, Duke survives to play in the Sweet 16.
Repeatedly showing that you should believe his hype, Williamson moved with grace down the court and shot 3 after 3 from downtown. In several clutch moments, the star player sent the ball sailing in a gorgeous arc, clean into the net. Even when under pressure, Williamson continued to duck out and get the job done.
UCF player Tacko Fall, standing at his imposing 7’6”, scored no less than five dunks in Sunday’s game. It’s almost funny, watching him raise his hands and nearly dunk standing on his feet. UCF’s winning strategy to keep pressure on was to simply get Fall deep in the paint and under the hoop so he could get them free points.
The game was impressive for a number of reasons, but namely due to the intense pressure both schools faced. It was unusual to watch top-seed Duke battle for their lives so early in the tournament. While UCF lost the game, it was by a hair: the final score was an astonishing 76-77.
In the final moments of the game, UCF drove the ball towards the goal, got it airborne, and only just barely missed landing a 2-pointer that would’ve swung the game in their favor. When the buzzer sounded, Duke and their fans erupted, relief and joy in equal measure filling their number.
UCF fought a hard battle and drew blood from the mighty Blue Devils. Time will tell how Duke fairs as they step into the Sweet Sixteen. Smart money is still on the chalk, as all three top-seed teams remain alive so far.
How’s your bracket looking? Did Duke’s turn of fortune keep you in the running? Make sure you don’t miss any of the action as March Madness continues.