March Madness has kicked off to a good start as two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference faced off on Sunday with Mike Krzyzewski’sDuke and Johnny Dawkin’s University of Central Florida (UCF). This was UCF senior Tacko Fall’s first debut in the tournament. Fall is 7’6” and one of the tallest players in NCAA history with one of the largest wingspans at eight feet.
In the first half, UCF got going with a series of dunks and three-point shots. Fall started out the game with 6 points but quickly fell into trouble with two fouls, sitting out most of the first half. UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins showed up big from behind ark landing 13 points before halftime.
On the other side, Duke started off nicely with a sequence of fast break dunks and layups to counter UCF’s style of play. Duke’s four-star players consist of Tre Jones, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson, all of which had a great first half. Jones had eight points, Williamson added 13 points, and Barrett and Reddish had ten. UCF led Duke at 44 to 36 by halftime.
UCF started off the second half aggressively with Dawkins hitting very crucial shots to keep their lead. On the other side, Zion Williamson kept his team in the game by showing up strong on the boards and hitting some clutch shots to keep Duke above water.
The last seconds of the game were the spark of the night for Duke. With 14.4 seconds left on the clock, Williamson came down the court and, with a spin, went for a body-to-body lay-up against Fall. The shot went in and Fall fouled out. Williamson missed his free throw and Barrett caught the rebound making the game-winning layup to seal the 77-76 win for the Duke Blue-Devils.
Williamson led his team with 32 points, four assists, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals. RJ Barrett contributed with 16 points and eight rebounds, Cam Reddish with 13 points, Tre Jones with 11 points, and J. DeLaurier with eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.
Dawkins finished off with 32 points, three assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Fall finished with 15 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. Finally, B.J. Taylor finished with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Both teams fought a great battle.
Duke has its next face-off against Virginia Tech on April 29.