Connect with us

Sports

Kansas beats Duke and its Elite Eight demons with an overtime classic

Published

on

OMAHA — The habitual winners at Duke might cringe years into the future over a basketball so bloody indecisive that it seemed to touch every smidgen of iron as it lollygagged around the rim, kissed the backboard, ventured back to the rim and then rolled off toward the floor as if deciding it craved overtime. The habitual winners at Kansas might revel years into the future over a basketball so blasted gorgeous that when it went up from the left corner and arced downward, it seemed not so much to swish as to smash down, as if deciding it aimed to stoke some bedlam.

Meanwhile, the 17,579 witnesses inside CenturyLink Center on Sunday evening will chatter years into the future over their ticket-buying luck at seeing this Midwest Region final because of all the gasps and palpitations and frenzy and quality it provided. And at last, the heavy majority that yearned for the Jayhawks will know their team surmounted a big heap of difficult stuff because they whistled boldly through the corridor of their goblins and haunts, the Elite Eight, and the 85-81 overtime win signaled Kansas could withstand both that and the constellation of stars at Duke.

“It’s hard to describe, man,” said Kansas senior leader Devonte’ Graham, the consensus all-American whose gut the Jayhawks’ Elite Eight losses in 2016 and 2017 had attempted to mangle. Yet describe, the participants did. Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose record in this oft-torturous round in the NCAA tournament dipped to a still-celestial 12-3 and caused him an ashen final walk down the hallway afterward, called it “an honor to play in this game.” Kansas Coach Bill Self, whose reddened reaction upon the final horn hinted at apparent demon-banishment, called it “a big-boy game” and “two blue bloods that’ll beat each other’s heads in” and “a heavyweight fight” and “the second-best win that we’ve ever had,” after only the 2008 title game against Memphis.

“I would have been proud to coach in that game even if the outcome was different,” he said.

Indeed, Kansas ventures to the third Final Four of Self’s 15 seasons — and its first in six years — by riding a demanding rodeo of a game that played out with ludicrous evenness. Kansas made 30 of 69 field goal attempts; Duke made 30 of 70. Kansas used rebounding by scrapping committee to beat Duke on the boards 47-32; Duke used beyond-freshman moxie from its freshmen to commit only 11 turnovers to 18 from its opponent. Duke sprang for five players in double figures; Kansas presented four with another guy at nine points. Duke giant Wendell Carter Jr. fouled out in overtime; Kansas giant Udoka Azubuike fouled out two minutes before overtime.

Duke (29-8) never led by more than four.

Kansas (31-7) never led by more than seven, and when it did, with 16:06 left, Duke cleaned up most of that in a jiffy.

The Blue Devils received a fine game from their lead star, Marvin Bagley III, with 16 points and 10 rebounds and two assists; the Jayhawks had a soaring game from one of their two lead stars, Malik Newman, the transfer from Mississippi State who scored 32 points, including the paramount shot from the corner with 1:49 left in overtime. Duke had large splashes from its slightly less famous freshmen, Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr., who scored 20 and 17 points and also made confident drives; Kansas had shrewd Lagerald Vick operating from the middle of the Duke zone with 14 points, Graham with six assists and six rebounds, and 6-foot-8 senior Svi Mykhailiuk with 11 points and 10 rebounds and pretty damned good defense on the 6-11 Bagley and . . .

And Kansas’s second-biggest shot.

It came with 26 seconds left in regulation, and Mykhailiuk’s audacity in taking it exemplified Kansas’s audacity all told. He had just missed two open three-point shots as things had begun to creak with a hint of familiarity for the Jayhawks. After Duke senior captain Grayson Allen’s four perfect free throws in the penultimate minute pushed the Blue Devils ahead 72-69, Newman missed with 1:05 left, Bagley rebounded, Carter missed with 36 seconds left, 6-9 freshman Silvio De Sousa rebounded, and March had gone into franticness as only March can.

The ball wound up with Mykhailiuk at the right of the top of the key, and his shot sang its way through, tying the score, leaving the whole heaving occasion with the two shots that might hang on in memory.

With the seconds ticking more furiously than normal, the game distilled to Allen against Newman, one-on-one. Newman’s defense excelled. Allen’s move wasn’t bad. He wound up backing off at the left side of the lane and sending up a promising shot that could not seem to help itself from skittering around in fickleness and tantalizing all the spectators.

It rolled off, the horn sounded, and soon Allen’s fine and checkered four-year college career would conclude with him at his locker in a silent room, dutifully answering questions with a skill he had learned to master. “It’s way different than a [regular] loss,” he said, “because with a loss, you know you’ve got something else. There’s two parts in me, one still fighting” for the closing Final Four dream, “and the other, ‘Sorry, it’s done.’ That’s why it’s really hard to grasp.”

In between the fickle ball and that, the teams had insisted upon remaining tied, this time at 78-78, as the two-minute mark of overtime arrived. In tension, Kansas forged beauty. Graham kicked a pass to Vick amid the zone, and Vick, whom Newman credited rightly with “a great job in the middle,” never touched the ground in redirecting that thing hurriedly to the left corner to Newman. Newman had spent much of the game driving with an unafraid abandon because “Coach just told us to keep attacking the zone,” and by getting “paint touches, then the three-point line would open up.”

Here the three-point line opened up, and now he lofted one to try to put a pinnacle on his hot March and let Kansas lead and let Duke chase, let Duke fizzle on offense until the score became 85-78 and let Kansas’s heart both intensify and then leap, all of which happened after that prettiest of shots smashed down.

Sports

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant, 4 others, including daughter killed in Southern California helicopter crash.

Published

on

By

Kobe Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers great, was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in Southern California, according to reports. He was 41. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore, known as GiGi, was among the victims.

The former Los Angeles Lakers star’s death as well as his daughter’s was initially reported by TMZ and confirmed by several outlets, including ESPN. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time in foggy conditions above Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The crash ignited a brush fire, making it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the crash site.

Bryant’s wife Vanessa was not on board, according to reports. The couple have four daughters, including an infant.

Bryant, an 18-time All-Star, won five NBA championships during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant retired as the third-leading score in NBA history in 2016.

Nicknamed “The Black Mamba,” Bryant is generally regarded as one of the best players in league history because of his all-around game.

Bryant, whose #8 and #24 jersey numbers were both retired by the Lakers, lead the league in scoring twice, won the Most Valuable Player award in 2008 and was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive team 12 times.

All five people aboard the chopper were killed. No other information about the victims’ identities was immediately available

.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Title

Music4 months ago

Selena Gomez Releases Highly Anticipated Spanish Language EP “Revelación”

12 MARCH 2021 (TORONTO, ON) – Receiving unanimous acclaim for her long awaited return to Latin music, Selena Gomez released...

Entertainment4 months ago

Megan Thee Stallions wins 3 Grammys at the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards

MEGAN THEE STALLION WINS BEST NEW ARTIST, BEST RAP SONG, & BEST RAP PERFORMANCE (“SAVAGE REMIX FT. BEYONCE”) AT THE...

Black Businesses / Black Entrepreneurs5 months ago

BEVERLY BOND INKS MULTI-PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT DEAL WITH BET ACROSS ALL OF ITS BUSINESS EXTENSIONS

March 10, 2021 9:35am ET Founder and CEO of the award-winning empowerment brand BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® Beverly Bond inks a...

WNBA5 months ago

Tangerine Bank Teams Up with WNBA All-Star Kia Nurse for New Champions Roster!

TORONTO, March 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Tangerine is excited to team up with Canadian WNBA star, Kia Nurse. As a Tangerine Champion,...

NCAA Football5 months ago

Clemson Pro Day on Thursday Kicks Off ACC Network’s Coverage of ACC Football Pro Days

ACC Network (ACCN), the 24/7 national platform dedicated to ACC sports, will present of several ACC Football Pro Days across...

Movies/Sitcoms/TV Shows5 months ago

HBO Max Brings Beloved Children’s Book THE RUNAWAY BUNNY to Life With the Talents of Tracee Ellis Ross, Kelly Rowland, Rosanne Cash, Rufus Wainwright, Ziggy Marley and Mariah Carey

 Login location_on United States / ENkeyboard_arrow_right  Go to WarnerMedia.com    Back to Menu Location Selector You are seeing: United States North America Canada English...

NCAA Basketball5 months ago

NCAA launches fan cutout program for 2021 Women’s Final Four

Fundraising effort will support national and local charities Women’s basketball fans will have the opportunity to be represented at the...

Movies/Sitcoms/TV Shows5 months ago

Netflix Unveils Trailer For The Notorious B.I.G. Documentary

Every legend has an origin story. Christopher Wallace, AKA The Notorious B.I.G., remains one of hip-hop’s icons. Renowned for his distinctive...

Movies/Sitcoms/TV Shows5 months ago

Fox Corporation Partners with SeeHer & Launches “She’s a Hero” Initiative

Fox Corporation (Nasdaq: FOXA, FOX) and the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) SeeHer movement announced a partnership to further support...

NCAA Basketball5 months ago

CBS Sports and Turner Sports Present 2021 NCAA March Madness Selection Show

on CBS, Sunday, March 14, at 6 p.m. ET Turner Sports and CBS Sports will present the 2021 NCAA March...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending