Duke Survives in 77-76 Win Over UCF, Advances to Sweet 16

VCU out of NCAA Tournament after falling to UCF 73-58

On Sunday during the second round of the NCAA tournament, No. 1 Duke beat No. 9 UCF, winning 77-76. However, the matchup rapidly was developed as one between Duke star and anticipated No. 1 pick in the 2019 National Basketball Association draft Zion Williamson and UCF's transcending center Tacko Fall.

Zion Williamson led the Blue Devils with 32 points, and Aubrey Dawkins led the Knights with 32 points.

Down eight at the break, the Knights scored the first seven points of the second half, resulting in a Duke timeout.

But while they will not be advancing to the Sweet 16, they can take heart in the recognition of one of the all-time great coaches.

His last basket broke a 70-all tie, and when Fall dunked Taylor's miss - the play was reviewed for a possible shot-clock violation - the Knights were ahead 74-70.

The Knights led the AAC in field goal percentage (46.3) and combined their scoring prowess with an ability to create contact and get to the foul line, where they rank among the top 25 in free throw attempts and enter this game with almost 500 made from the charity stripe (484, tied for 62nd). VCU coach Mike Rhoades said he thought about having an assistant stand on a chair with broomsticks to simulate Fall's massive, 8-4 armspan.

Fall had stuffed Williamson three previous times, and Duke's young star was less effective underneath than he'd been his past four games.

"Obviously, we had the size advantage", Fall said.

The amusement began with Williamson going toward Fall for tip-off, with Fall effectively winning the matchup. Williams caught a pass left of the key and dribbled straight into Fall's 7-6, 310-pound frame.

For starters, Dawkins, the son of head coach Johnny Dawkins, had the game of his life, balling out for 32 points on five three-pointers. When Fall was hit with foul trouble, Williamson charged to the hoop. Fall had 14 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks for UCF and was a dominating force despite VCU throwing two and three guys on him at a time.

Fall sealed things when he fought through two defenders and threw up a flawless bank shot while falling to the ground to put the Knights up 70-56 with less than three minutes to play.

It was Fall's 25th career double-double and seventh of the season. The pair averages 31.2 points per game, with Taylor (1.98) also in the top 5 in the AAC in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Reddish, who had 10 points in the first half, was called for his fourth foul at the 13:48 mark.

Duke will face either Virginia Tech or Liberty in the Sweet 16.

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