Originally created 03/20/00

Duke holds on to beat Kansas



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Shane Battier said it was nothing special, just good, old-fashioned defense that allowed top-seeded Duke to advance in the NCAA tournament.

Battier had 21 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots Sunday as the Blue Devils beat Kansas 69-64 in the second round of the East Regional.

"When you get into the tournament, teams don't know your tendencies all the time, so something that may not be as effective in the ACC all of the sudden becomes a lot more effective here," said Battier, whose previous high for blocks was seven.

"That was the case. They didn't think I was a great shot-blocker and they took it to me."

Big mistake.

Duke, owner of the nation's top-scoring offense, relied on its defense in the second half, holding Kansas to 32-percent shooting from the floor.

"You look at the stats and you probably said we didn't play well," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose club shot 37 percent and had a season-high 23 turnovers. "I thought we played really well. It was a game that we forced a lot of mistakes on them and they forced us to make a lot of mistakes. It wasn't like mindless turnovers."

Freshman Carlos Boozer made the go-ahead follow shot with 53.5 seconds left and stole Nick Bradford's pass 29 seconds later to help seal Krzyzewski's 50th NCAA tournament victory.

"You don't see Nick usually do that, but that's college basketball," Kansas coach Roy Williams said.

Before the game, Krzyzewski caught a glimpse on TV of North Carolina beating Stanford, the second No. 1 seed to fall before the round of 16.

It appeared his club could be next after getting off to its worst start of the season, shooting 2-for-15 with six turnovers as the eighth-seeded Jayhawks built a nine-point lead.

"I thought they knocked us back a bit," Krzyzewski said. "We hadn't faced a team that played that good defense in the lanes. All the sudden it looked like we were playing horribly. I told our team we weren't playing bad, but that it was going to be a high-level game and to adjust to it because Roy's team wasn't going to let up."

Duke (29-4) will face fifth-seeded Florida Friday in the regional semis in Syracuse, N.Y.

The game between Duke and Kansas, two teams with 53 combined tournament appearances, was filled with intense play and a first-half shouting match between Krzyzewski and Williams.

Each downplayed the exchange after the game.

"It probably looked worse than it was," Williams said.

Kirk Hinrich equaled his season high with 12 points for Kansas, which lost the 1991 championship game to Duke.

Kansas (24-10) almost shot itself out of contention in the first 8' minutes of the second half, going 1-for-12 from the field, but used 13 Duke turnovers to go ahead 64-63 with 1:18 left on a three-point play by Bradford.

But the 6-foot-9 Boozer, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds, made his two key plays, and Chris Carrawell and Jason Williams each hit two free throws over the final 24.7 seconds.

"I took it as a challenge to come in and try to play more physical than them and be real active inside," said Boozer.

Hinrich's 3-point attempt with seven seconds left could have tied it, but the shot bounced off the rim, and Carrawell, Duke's only senior, grabbed the rebound.

"It was a great look. I thought it was going in," said Hinrich, holding back tears. "You just don't know how bad I wanted to hit the shot for all my teammates."

Hinrich had three 3-pointers in the opening six minutes to provide Kansas with a spark, but he picked up his third foul with 8:36 left and sat out the rest of the half.

Less than a minute after Hinrich went to the bench, Krzyzewski and Williams got into it near the Duke bench during a timeout.

Williams, a former North Carolina assistant under Dean Smith, walked the length of the scorer's table to find out what Krzyzewski was questioning, and the two coaches exchanged words before being separated by a referee.

Duke had only two buckets in the first 9:11, but Kansas' turnovers allowed the Blue Devils to crawl back into the game.

"We haven't been down too many times this year," Carrawell said. "For us to keep fighting and to keep staying with it, that shows we're not going to go down easy."

By the end of the half, the Jayhawks had 12 turnovers, two starters were in foul trouble, and the game was tied at 35.

Duke averaged 12 3-pointers over its last seven games, but was 1-for-10 from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes and finished just 2-for-17.

"I like to compete and I felt that this year we could have competed harder and been tougher," Williams said. "It was like I was preaching to them all the time. Yet, when we got here, I really felt that we did that."