Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student



IU knocks off Duke, team dances to Elite Eight with win over top seed

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- IU coach Mike Davis could deal with the media people who said it was impossible. He could deal with the same fans who doubted him this week because they have been doubting him for the past 18 months.\nBut he didn't like what he heard Wednesday from Duke.\n"We had a meeting (Wednesday) with coaches and administrators to talk about the tournament. One of the guys from Duke asked what time do they play on Saturday," Davis said. "I looked around. Maybe he didn't know I was sitting in the room.\n"So I told my guys this, 'You know guys, they're a great basketball team. But when someone disrespected us like this, we have to come out and fight.'"\nIt didn't look like they would at first, but the Hoosiers did. They fought really hard.\nA furious second half rally from a 13-point halftime deficit culminated with the Hoosiers doing the unthinkable. Fifth-seeded IU knocked off defending national champions and No. 1 Duke, 74-73, in the South Regional semi-finals in Lexington before 22,348 at Rupp Arena. \nThe win gets the Hoosiers into the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993, when they lost to Kansas. IU will face 10th-seeded Kent State in the South Regional final Saturday night. It was the Golden Flashes that knocked off the Hoosiers in the first round of the tournament last year. Kent State defeated Pittsburgh last night in the second game, 78-73 in overtime. \nSophomore Jared Jeffries had a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds. Junior Jarrad Odle had 15 and sophomore A.J. Moye had 14 points. Duke's Carlos Boozer had 19, Mike Dunleavy had 17 and Jason Williams had 15 points for the Blue Devils.\nFor the first time in their three tournament games, the Hoosiers (23-11) found themselves trailing -- big time. But IU fought back and grabbed its first lead with 59 seconds left on a four-footer by junior Tom Coverdale, giving the Hoosiers a 72-70 edge. It was Coverdale's first bucket of the game.\n"I didn't know what offense to call," Davis said. "He bailed us out. He's been our guy all year."\nDaniel Ewing came down the court for Duke and missed a three-pointer from the wing and junior Jeff Newton corralled the rebound for IU. Coverdale brought the ball to the mid-court stripe and called a timeout. The Hoosiers couldn't get the ball in and had to use their last timeout to avoid a five-second call.\nOn the ensuing play, Chris Duhon fouled Moye with 11.1 seconds left, sending him to the line for two.\n"If I get to shoot free throws, my teammates expect me to make both of them," Moye said. "I've been in this situation before, and believe it or not I missed them. That was a big motivation."\nMoye calmly hit both to give IU a 74-70 lead. Duke (31-4) did not use a timeout, instead opting to push the ball up the floor. Ewing came down and missed a three-pointer from in front of the Duke bench.\nThe rebound caromed to Williams at the top of the key and he hit a three-pointer and was fouled by senior Dane Fife with 4.2 seconds left.\nWilliams, who was named the Naismith National Player of the Year Monday, struggled to hit clutch free throws in Duke's losses at Florida State and at Virginia. His biggest miss came Thursday night, as his free throw to tie the game missed.\n"I thought it was in and out," a dejected Williams said after the game. "Sometimes you don't get the breaks."\nA melee for the rebound ensued, with Boozer getting a shot off that trickled off the rim and the clock expired soon after. The Duke bench was looking for a foul, but none came.\n"I never, ever put the blame on one play or one person," Krzyzewski said. "If you want to put the blame on somebody blame me. There are human elements in every ballgame and that can go for you or against you."\nIU overcame 16 first half turnovers, miscues that Duke cashed into 23 points. The Hoosiers had to deal with the Blue Devils' depth, which seemed endless as they committed a season-high 26 fouls. And IU was able to gain control of the game after almost being run out of the building in the first half.\n"I knew our guys would be nervous," Davis said of the Hoosiers' sluggish start that had them down 29-12 11 minutes into the game. "We made adjustments. We just wanted to come out and keep going."\nDavis stayed confident throughout the game and said he sensed things were turning for the Hoosiers when they were down by 12 in the middle of the second half. \nAs the clock expired, Williams was consoled by teammates as he tried to fight back tears. His team was supposed to win. At the same time, Davis was emotional in the moments after the game because his team wasn't supposed to win.\nThe same players, including Coverdale and Jeffries, Davis was chasing down to hug after the game had validated his faith.\n"None of the credit goes to me because you saw our guys tonight, " Davis said. "Our guys will fight to the end. We're not a better team than (Duke). All you have to do is be better that day.\n"You have to say it. If you say it enough, you start to believe it."\nThe Hoosiers believed. Now Duke does, too.

Get stories like this in your inbox