Look Out Indy, Here Come The Devils

A career game from Nolan Smith propels the Blue Devils into the Final Four by defeating the Baylor Bears 78-71.

It had been six years since Duke last played in the Final Four.

That streak will not be extended as the Blue Devils won the South Region with a 78-71 victory over Baylor to advance to Indianapolis next week.

It's the school's 11th Final Four under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and the first since the 2004 season in which Duke fell to eventual national champion Connecticut.

Perhaps the most balanced Blue Devil squad since that Luol Deng led team, Duke was able to overcome a woeful shooting performance from junior Kyle Singler who finished 0-of-10 from the floor to finish with just five points after early foul trouble.

In years past a Duke team that saw its star having such a performance would have gone home. This year, however, the Blue Devils simply turned to an alternative in the form of Nolan Smith.

The junior had a career high 29 points while senior Jon Scheyer added 20 including a three pointer to tie the game at 57 with 5:28 remaining. From there Smith and Scheyer would score 10 straight points to give Duke a 67-61 lead in what proved to be the game's decisive run.

Baylor was led by LaceDarius Dunn who finished with 22 points while Ekpe Udoh scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and handed out six assists, and swatted five shots in the losing effort.

Duke will play West Virginia in the national semifinals next weekend. The winner of that game will meet the winner of Butler and Michigan State for the National Championship.


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