Kansas beats Duke for last spot in Final Four

By Alex Butler  |  March 26, 2018 at 7:44 AM
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March 26 (UPI) -- Kansas entered the 2018 Final Four on Sunday by beating Duke 85-81 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

The No. 1 Jayhawks shot 43.5 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from 3-point range to send the No. 2 Blue Devils back to Durham, N.C.

"Obviously I don't think I could be or we could be more excited or more proud than what we are right now," Kansas coach Bill Self said after the game. "Not only going to San Antoni, but the way that we did it. Beating an historic program, maybe the greatest college basketball coach of all time and such a talented roster and to do it in a way we haven't done it all year long."

"We haven't beat anybody on the glass all year long. We win the rebounding battle by 15 or whatever today. So I couldn't be happy or more proud. I'm certainly very proud to be part of that game. That was an epic game. One of the best, if not the best, I've ever been a part of."

Duke freshman guard Trevon Duval led all scorers in the first half with 13 points, helping the Blue Devils claim a 36-33 lead in the first half. The second half was an absolute dogfight. Kansas started the second half on an 11-3 run, before the Blue Devils bounced back. The lead went back-and-forth until Jayhawks guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk tied the game at 72-72 by hitting a 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining.

Duke star Grayson Allen missed a jumpshot off of the backboard at the buzzer, putting the game into overtime.

Then Malik Newman took over. Newman scored all of Kansas' 13 points in overtime. Allen could not get his 3-pointers to fall in the final seconds, giving Kansas the hard-fought victory.

Newman scored a game-high 32 points in the victory. Mykhailiuk scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds for Kansas. Duval led the Blue Devils with 20 points. Marvin Bagley III netted 16 points and had 10 rebounds in the loss.

Kansas faces Villanova in the Final Four at 8:49 p.m. on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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