After coasting by an average of 31 points in the first two rounds, the Blue Devils found themselves in a battle as Illinois raced out to an 8-2 lead thanks to transition baskets. Duke would quickly rally to lead by as many as eight before a 10-3 Illinois run cut the lead to one at the break.
The second half started with Duhon finding Shelden Williams for a transition slam to push the lead to three. After another inside basket from Williams, Deng earned a trip to the line to push the lead to four. Illinois would get no close as J.J. Redick hit a pair of big threes late to push the margin to double figures.
Redick finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting while Williams added points, three rebounds, and three blocks.
Duhon, who continues to be plagued by severely bruised ribs, ended with 4 points, eight assists, and a career high 11 rebounds. Despite diving out of bounds, and being shoved to the floor by Illinois players in two instances, the 6-foot-1 senior still managed to log 39 of the 40 minutes.
The Blue Devils win improves them to 30-5 on the season and sets up a regional final match up with surprising seventh seeded Xavier, which beat Texas 79-71 in the other semifinal earlier in the night.
Game time is set for 5:05 PM EST on Sunday afternoon. The winner advances to San Antonio for the Final Four.