That was how CBS's Clark "Special K" Kellogg described Duke's performance in its Final Four clinching victory over Baylor, 78-71. He was exactly right. Duke was 11-of-23 from trifecta (48%) and was 23-of-29 from the line (79%) including 21-of-27 in the second half (78%). Kyle Singler was 0-of-10 from the field, but hit four clutch free throws in the last 30 seconds. Nolan Smith was sensational sinking four-of-six trifectas and seven-of-eight free throws and finished with 29. He was beyond clutch. Jon Scheyer was Jon Scheyer. He five-of-10 from trifecta and five-of-five from the line and finished with 20. Lance Thomas was huge. He had seven points, but nine rebounds, eight on the offensive glass. Duke had 22 offensive rebounds compared to maybe the more athletic Baylor team which had 16. Thomas may have made the play of the game (at least one of them) when he rebounded a missed Singler three and put it back and was fouled. He sank the free throw to put the Blue Devils up 70-62 with 1:36 left. The free throws in the last minute and a half iced it. Two other key plays were Smith's trifecta with 3:32 left to put Duke up 64-61. Scheyer came right back to hit another three to put the Dukies ahead 67-61 with 2:37 left.
This is the 11th Final Four for Coach K. He's had an amazing run at Duke in his 30 years on the sideline for the Blue Devils. Thirteen ACC titles and three national titles to go along with it. He also has a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. At 63, he just keeps on truckin'. An amazing coach.
Now it's Duke vs West Virginia and Butler vs. Michigan State. Already scouted Butler-MSU in my earlier blog. For Duke it's shooting threes, playing intense, hustling defense inside and out and sinking free throws. West Virginia will try to be deliberate. Their style of play has been terrific in the last three weeks. They play tough defense and shoot well enough. Their style just works for them. Should be a great match of wits between Huggie Bear and Coach K. Will have predictions of both games later in the week.
The first game on the schedule at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is Butler-Michigan State at 5:07 p.m. Duke-West Virginia follows at around 7:45.