The Duke Blue Devils escaped the second round of the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament in what’s arguably the game of the tournament so far.
Duke edged UCF 77-76 to advance to Friday’s Sweet 16 game against the winner of Virginia Tech and Liberty in Washington D.C.
The Blue Devils, the tournament’s No. 1-overall seed, were in real danger of an early exit.
Zion Williamson pulled Duke to within one point, while getting UCF big man Tacko Fall to foul out. His free throw was missed, but teammate R.J. Barrett layed it in to give Duke a one-point lead.
UCF had two cracks at the upset victory in the closing seconds.
B.J. Taylor misfired on his potential game-winner, while Aubrey Dawkins flew in for a putback attempt that rimmed out.
Dawkins also missed an alley-oop under two minutes remaining that could have stretched UCF’s lead to six points. Instead, it was a five-point swing when Duke’s Cam Reddish drilled a 3-pointer. Dawkins also had a jump shot rim in and out in the final minutes.
He matched Williamson, though, with 32 points.
Fall also excelled in the paint, which included stuffing a Williamson shot.
Here are some of Zion’s other highlights from the victory: