Yesterday, No. 2 seed Duke defeated No. 4 seed Arkansas 78-69 to win the West Regional. That puts coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) in his 13th final four.
Duke faced yet another elite defense on Saturday night in the Elite Eight, and the Blue Devils turned in another elite offensive performance as they cruised past Arkansas 78-69 to reach next week’s Final Four. AJ Griffin led the No. 2 seed Blue Devils with 18 points, but it was a balanced effort for Duke, which followed up on Thursday’s masterful showing against Texas Tech with another hot shooting night.
As a team, Duke shot 54.7% and dominated the paint against an Arkansas team that saw its season end in the Elite Eight for the second straight season. This will mark Duke’s first Final Four appearance since 2015 and bring coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career tally to 13 as he prepares to retire at the season’s end. Duke will play the winner of Sunday’s game between No. 8 seed North Carolina and No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s next Saturday.
The teams traded runs in the first half, but the Blue Devils used an 8-0 spurt in the final 1:20 of the half to open up a 45-33 halftime lead. Trevor Keels drilled a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to send Duke into the locker room with the momentum.
Arkansas cut the deficit to 53-48 with 13:19 remaining on a Jaylin Williams 3-point play. But Duke promptly went on a 10-0 run that began with a Paolo Banchero bucket. By the 9:07 mark, the Blue Devils owned a 66-51 edge, and the Razorbacks never got back within single digits until the final minute when the game was out of reach.