Duke tops Michigan for 2K Sports Classic titleNov 22, 2008 - 7:16 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Unlike the end of the year, Duke has been on a roll in the preseason tournaments.
Nolan Smith scored 16 points and Kyle Singler added 15 as fifth-ranked Duke captured the 2008 2K Sports Classic championship with a 71-56 victory over Michigan at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
Gerald Henderson added 12 points for the Blue Devils (5-0), who once again pulled away from an opponent in the second half.
"I am really happy with my team, we beat a really good Michigan team," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They are going to be a tough out in the Big Ten. Coming off the UCLA win, you can see they are really confident. They are a tough team to defend and I think that was the key to the game. I thought we played really well ... well enough to win tonight."
Including its win in the Maui Invitational last year, Duke has won its last seven games in preseason tournaments. It finished with a winning margin of 28.5 points in its four games of this event.
"I don't think we are in a position to be upset," Krzyzewski said. "You cannot allow a team to be in a position to win and we are playing not to lose. We have to play to win. That is the attitude we have tried to have on our teams all along. Most of the time our teams have exuded that type of attitude."
It is a completely different set of results from the end of the season for the Blue Devils, who have just one win in their last two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and have not reached a Final Four since 2004.
After stepping on the accelerator following intermission against Southern Illinois in the semifinals on Thursday, Duke did the same against Michigan, which was in the title game after toppling No. 4 UCLA the day before. Smith opened the scoring in the second half with a layup and then set Henderson up for a three-point play to make it 44-31 just over two minutes in.
Singler later added six points on a 12-4 run that put the Blue Devils ahead, 59-42, with 8:37 left.
The sophomore forward finished 5-of-8 from the floor with eight rebounds and four assists.
"The coaches have put together the game plan and it is on us to do what he says and what he has in that game plan," Singler said. "We have total confidence in what he has to say. We just put that game plan to use on the court, play hard and execute as much as possible. I agree it was smart to come in here and prepare for Michigan."
Overall, Duke shot 47 percent (24-of-51) despite a 4-of-20 effort from behind the 3-point line.
The one drawback for the Blue Devils were 17 turnovers. However, the Wolverines were only able to turn those into 13 points.
This was the first of two meetings between the Blue Devils and Wolverines, as Michigan will travel to Durham on December 6.
Manny Harris scored 25 points with an 11-of-12 effort at the free-throw line for the Wolverines (3-1).
DeShawn Sims was the only other player in double figures with 10 points for Michigan, which finished 34 percent (19-of-54) from the floor.
- 2008 2K SPORTS CLASSIC
NCAA BB 2008 2K SPORTS CLASSIC
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
DUKE (5) 39 32 71
MICHIGAN 31 25 56 FINAL
Nov 21 9:30 PM
- 2008 2K SPORTS CLASSIC
NCAA BB (5) DUKE 39
MICHIGAN 31 HALFTIME
Nov 21 8:19 PM
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