Williams, Arizona erupt to topple DukeMar 25, 2011 - 6:16 AM
Lamont Jones added 16 points and Solomon Hill scored 13 for the fifth-seeded Wildcats (30-7), who advanced to face Connecticut in the Elite Eight on Saturday.
The winner of that game will represent the West Region in next week's Final Four. The Huskies, behind 36 points from star guard Kemba Walker, got past San Diego State in the other Sweet 16 game played Thursday at the Honda Center.
Taking the court after that performance, Williams proved that Walker wasn't the only superstar in Anaheim. He pulled down 13 rebounds and was 11-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from three-point range.
"He's as good as anybody we've played," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "or I should say better than anybody we've played."
Duke found no such performance from Nolan Smith, who scored just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting. Kyrie Irving led the Blue Devils (32-5) with 28 points and Kyle Singler chipped in 18.
Arizona outscored Duke 55-33 in the second half, with much of the disparity coming from a 19-2 run that gave the Wildcats the lead for good.
Like a deer in headlights, Duke froze, leaving Krzyzewski on 900 career wins, two shy of the all-time record.
"The tournament is cruel," Krzyzewski said. "It's an abrupt end for everybody when you don't win."
How bad did things get for the Blue Devils? Smith and Irving, two of the best players in the ACC, both missed layups on back-to-back possessions late in the second half.
Arizona turned the first into a fastbreak layup by Hill and the second into Kevin Parrom's three-pointer for an 82-66 lead with about five minutes remaining.
There was little fight left in Duke, which was playing in the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in 14 years and trying to reach the Elite Eight for the 12th time under Coach K.
The team Duke beat in last year's national championship game, Butler, beat Wisconsin on Thursday to move one round further than the Blue Devils.
Meanwhile, Arizona moved past the Sweet 16 for the first time in six years, ending Duke's five-game winning streak and setting up a meeting with Walker and the surging Huskies.
"We're not looking to stop," said Williams. "We're trying to win a national championship one step at a time, and one more game we're in the Final Four."
The Wildcats trailed by six points, 53-47, less than four minutes into the second half before Jesse Perry's jumper started their 19-2 run. Williams followed with a layup, but it was Jones who shined during the rally.
He scored four straight points -- he had 14 in the half -- pulling up for a jumper at the right elbow and knocking down a pair of free throws that gave Arizona a 55-53 edge with 15:18 remaining.
It was the Wildcats' first lead since 6-5. They never trailed again.
Jones scored two more points and Brendon Lavender capped the long run with a fastbreak dunk to make it 66-55 with 12 minutes left.
Not only did Duke go cold on offense, it showed little interest at times playing defense. Williams exploited the porous armor, splitting two defenders near the top of the key for a thunderous one-handed dunk later in the half.
Things were different in the first half. Despite Williams' 25 points, Duke carried a 44-38 lead into the locker room behind 53 percent shooting.
The Blue Devils shot 38 percent in the second half, compared to Arizona's 58 percent, and 47 percent for the game. The Wildcats shot 54 percent for the game.
Summarized Arizona head coach Sean Miller: "The first half was much different than the second."
Duke beat Arizona in the 2001 title game in the only previous meeting between the schools in the NCAAs...Arizona was the Pac-10 regular season champion and beat Memphis and Texas to reach the Sweet 16...The Blue Devils won the ACC Tournament for their No. 1 seed and beat Hampton and Michigan to reach the Sweet 16...Irving missed 26 games with a right toe injury before returning for the NCAAs...Prior to Thursday, Duke had won four straight NCAA Tournament games against Pac-10 opponents, dating back to an 82-77 loss to California on March 20, 1993...Bob Knight owns the Division I coaching record with 902 wins.
- ARIZONA: 93
Mar 24 11:59 PM
- ARIZONA: 38
Mar 24 10:42 PM
- ARIZONA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 24 9:53 PM
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- Duke's Grayson Allen has hernia surgery Apr 22
- Duke's Jefferson receives medical hardship waiver Apr 22
- Duke freshman guard Derryck Thornton to transfer Apr 10
- Grayson Allen to return to Duke for junior season Apr 6
- Arizona guard Allonzo Trier returning for sophomore season Apr 4
- Duke's Brandon Ingram declares for NBA Draft after 1 season Apr 4
- Duke: Coach K recovering from knee replacement surgery Apr 3
- Arizona's Justin Simon transferring after 1 season Mar 28
- Duke ends with longer-than-expected NCAA run, short bench Mar 25
- Duke's title defense ends with 82-68 loss to Oregon Mar 25