Duke Just Chips Away at Upstart
So much for advancing the cause of Central Michigan and its upstart story.
Duke never gave hope a chance Saturday night, making 17 of 28 first-half shots en route to an easy 86-60 second-round West Regional win at the Huntsman Center.
Third-seed Duke (26-6) will play second-seeded Kansas next week in one West Regional semifinal at the Pond, and No. 1 Arizona will face No. 5 Notre Dame in the other.
Instead of an emerging story in Central Michigan (25-7), surprise champion of the Mid-American Conference, we are left with the same old story -- Duke.
The Blue Devils advanced to the round of 16 for the sixth consecutive season and the 13th time since 1986. Duke has won three national titles in that time.
Duke appeared vulnerable coming into Salt Lake for only its second appearance in the West Regional and struggled to beat No. 14 Colorado State in Thursday’s first-round matchup.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski grumbled about having to play a Thursday game after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last Sunday and bemoaned the fact that several of his players were ill and/or exhausted.
“We were a lot healthier today than we were on Thursday night,” Krzyzewski said.
Duke senior forward Dahntay Jones led all scorers with 28 points, making nine of 14 shots and eight of nine free throws. Freshman guard J.J. Redick scored 26 points.
Chris Kaman, Central Michigan’s 7-foot center and a projected NBA player, finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds but didn’t get enough help from his teammates.
Mike Manciel, who scored 29 points in the Chippewas’ opening-round win over Creighton, had only five points on one-for-nine shooting Saturday.