No. 4 Duke 71

No. 12 Yale 64

SHOOTING STAR

GRAYSON ALLEN, DUKE

The sophomore guard scored 29, including five 3-pointers.

THEY SAID IT

"I keep wanting to turn the page and get on to the next thing. But (Paul) Jesperson keeps reminding me that I told them we're going to enjoy the stuff that's worth enjoying."

UNI coach Ben Jacobson on Friday's game-winning shot

"Our house is on a cliff, and we hope it doesn't rain. That's who we've been. And so I really have an appreciation for that."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — In a battle of brainy schools, Duke nearly got a tough lesson from Ivy League champion Yale.

After cruising early, the Blue Devils needed some of their most clutch moments in a season in which they have often felt on the brink of disaster to avoid becoming the NCAA tournament's latest upset victim.

Grayson Allen had 29 points, including five 3-pointers, to help Duke fend off a furious rally by Yale and advance to the Sweet 16 with a 71-64 victory Saturday.

"Our house is on a cliff, and we hope it doesn't rain," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's who we've been. And so I really have an appreciation for that."

Krzyzewski said he remains in awe of a young team that he thought would not make the tournament after senior Amile Jefferson was lost for the season in December to a foot injury.

The West Region's No. 4 seed, Duke led by as many as 27 before seeing that dwindle to three with less than a minute to play. But steely free throws by freshman Brandon Ingram and Allen secured the defending champions a place in the tournament's second weekend.

Ingram added 25 points and five rebounds for the Blue Devils, who will play the winner of top-seeded Oregon and St. Joseph's.

Yale came close to forcing a needed turnover, but eventually had to foul. Duke connected on four of its final five free throws to close out the game.

Brandon Sherrod led the 12th-seeded Bulldogs with 22 points. Justin Sears added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Yale used a 15-0 run to cut what had been a 23-point halftime deficit to 54-47 with 11:38 left. Duke, which sizzled early offensively, missed eight consecutive shots during the spurt.

"We had four seniors on this team, and Duke, they hit us with a barrage of — a heavy haymaker they hit us with," Sears said. "And we got in the locker room and we said, 'We have 20 more minutes to make a statement.'"

Duke lost some of its rebounding presence when big man Marshall Plumlee had to go to the bench after being called for his fourth foul with just under nine minutes to play.

Yale kept chipping away, and a tip-in by Sears off a missed free throw by Sherrod made it 67-64 with 39 seconds to play.

Leading 69-64, Duke missed on a one-and-one opportunity, but Yale couldn't capitalize on its next possession.

Allen was fouled and he calmly knocked in a pair of free throws.

"We talked about getting it to the point, with five minutes to go, having a chance to win the game, and we got it there," Yale coach James Jones said. "And I thought we had some opportunities that we literally let slip through our fingers."

The Blue Devils are moving on to the Sweet 16 for the 25th time in school history and 23rd time under Krzyzewski, which is a record for a coach at any one school. Duke is also in the regional semifinals for the 15th time since 1998, the most of any school during that time span.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article. You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.

Your sports-only digital subscription does not include access to this section.

SALE!
Only $3 for 3 Months
Unlimited Digital Access

  • Unlimited access to every article, video and piece of online content
  • Exclusive, locally-focused reporting
  • News delivered straight to your inbox via e-newsletters
  • Includes digital delivery of daily e-edition via email
SALE!
Only $3 for 3 Months
Unlimited Digital Access

  • Unlimited access to every article, video and piece of online content
  • Exclusive, locally-focused reporting
  • News delivered straight to your inbox via e-newsletters
  • Includes digital delivery of daily e-edition via email