|Arizona’s Derrick Williams, who finished with a career-high 32 points, draws contact from Duke forward Kyle Singler. (Harry How/Getty Images)|
Duke routed by Arizona
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Derrick Williams scored a career-high 32 points and his Arizona teammates dominated Duke in the second half to upset the defending national champion, 93-77, last night and reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 2005.
The top-seeded Blue Devils (32-5) were sent packing from a regional semifinal for the second time in three years. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, with 900 wins, will have to wait until next season to resume his pursuit of Bob Knight’s record as the winningest men’s coach in Division 1 history.
Williams scored 25 of his points in the first half before his teammates came up big in the final 20 minutes. Lamont Jones added 16 points and Solomon Hill 13.
Williams had 13 rebounds to help his team dominate the boards, 40-27, while playing 15 minutes from his hometown of La Mirada.
Fifth-seeded Arizona (30-7) will play Connecticut (29-9) tomorrow in the West Regional final. The third-seeded Huskies defeated No. 2 San Diego State in the other semifinal.
Duke’s Kryie Irving scored 28 points in his most minutes since returning at the start of the NCAA Tournament after missing 26 games with a toe injury.
Kyle Singler added 18 as one of three Blue Devils in second-half foul trouble. Nolan Smith was held to 8 points — well under the senior’s 21-point average.
Down by 6 points early in the second half, the Wildcats unleashed a scoring rampage that left the Blue Devils looking stunned.
Williams scored just 2 points during the 19-2 run while five of his teammates did the rest, hitting from long range, driving to the basket, and scoring off fast breaks.
Jones’s basket tied the game at 53 and the spurt ended with Arizona leading, 66-55. Jones and Jamelle Horne had 5 points each.
Horne’s dunk extended Arizona’s lead to 77-63 as the Wildcats’ fans roared, thrilled to see their team making a deep run in the tournament a season after the school’s 25-year streak of consecutive appearances ended.
The Wildcats closed the first half on an 18-13 run, capped by Williams’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer, which left them trailing, 44-38. He hit back-to-back shots from the same spot at the top of the 3-point line during the spurt in which his teammates contributed just 5 points.
The Wildcats closed within a point earlier in the half, and Duke responded by outscoring them, 14-7, including 8 in a row, to take its largest lead, 31-20.
Irving didn’t start the game, but he quickly had an impact once he got in. He scored 7 points in the run that built Duke’s biggest lead.