Duke defeats Syracuse in battle of blue-blood programs to advance to Elite Eight

Gary Trent Jr. struggled all night long from behind the three-point arc. But when it mattered most — facing a one-and-one with his Blue Devils up two with just seconds remaining — he came through, swishing both free throws to give Duke a 69-65 win over ACC rival Syracuse.

It’s career win number 1,100 for Mike Krzyzewski. Marvin Bagley III led the way with 22 points, and Grayson Allen (15), Wendell Carter Jr. (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Trent Jr. (14 points) all scored in double figures for Duke. Tyus Battle paced Syracuse with 19 points.

For the opening 15 minutes, neither team could create much space: Syracuse’s largest lead was four and Duke’s was two. But the Blue Devils finished the half on a 10-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by Grayson Allen. The Orange didn’t score for the final 5:19 of the half and turned it over four times over that span. Duke went into halftime up 34-27 with Allen, Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. combining for 25 of those points.

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ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Cody Martin #11 of the Nevada Wolf Pack falls after saving the ball with a pass to Caleb Martin #10 in the second half against the Loyola Ramblers during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: PJ Washington #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes up with the ball against Amaad Wainright #23 and Makol Mawien #14 of the Kansas State Wildcats in the second half during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Charles Matthews #1 of the Michigan Wolverines drives on DJ Hogg #1 of the Texas A&M Aggies in the second half in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Staples Center on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Jordan Caroline #24 of the Nevada Wolf Pack and Lucas Williamson #1 of the Loyola Ramblers battle for the rebound during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Loyola Ramblers defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack 69-68. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Terance Mann #14 of the Florida State Seminoles goes up for a shot against Rui Hachimura #21 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Staples Center on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Jarred Vanderbilt #2 of the Kentucky Wildcats calls a timeout late in the second half against Kevin Knox #5 and PJ Washington #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Josh Perkins #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after being fouled in the first half agaisnt the Florida State Seminoles in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Staples Center on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: Marques Townes #5 of the Loyola Ramblers reacts after making a late three point basket in the second half against the Nevada Wolf Pack during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman #12 of the Michigan Wolverines goes up for a shot against Tyler Davis #34 of the Texas A&M Aggies in the first half in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Staples Center on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Justin Gray #5 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders dunks the ball during the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at TD Garden on March 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Jalen Brunson #1 of the Villanova Wildcats shoots the ball during the second half against Esa Ahmad #23 of the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at TD Garden on March 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Sagaba Konate #50 of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts on the bench during the second half against the Villanova Wildcats in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at TD Garden on March 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22: PJ Washington #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats handles the ball against Cartier Diarra #2 of the Kansas State Wildcats in the first half during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Syracuse got right back into things, though, scoring on its first two possessions and causing an incensed Mike Krzyzewski to call time out, ripping off his suit jacket and ripping into his team. Paschal Chukwu scored underneath to extend the run to 6-0 before Gary Trent Jr. finally got the Blue Devils on the board in the second half with a floater.

Duke never lost the lead, though, and expanded it to as big as nine after back-to-back threes from Trent Jr. and Allen sandwiched around a Syracuse timeout. But the Orange hung around and, aside from a quick 6-0 spurt from the Blue Devils that made it 62-53 with 4:16 to go, kept the deficit within a couple of possessions for the most part.

Tyus Battle knocked down a huge three — his fourth of the night, and the first of the half for Syracuse — with 2:24 remaining to get the deficit down to five, and an Oshae Brissett bucket brought it to 63-60, Duke. But Trent Jr. came right back with a floater in traffic to restore the lead to five. Frank Howard and Allen traded free throws before a Marek Dolezaj’s tip-in cut it to three, 67-64, once again.

With roughly seven seconds left, Allen missed the front-end of a one-and-one, and Howard knocked down one-of-two on the other end to cut it to two. But Trent Jr. calmly sunk two free throws to finally put the Orange to rest and give the game its final scoreline.

Duke will face Kansas, which won earlier in the night, on Sunday.

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