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Sims helps Michigan stun Duke

Dec 7, 2008 - 1:14 AM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- John Beilein has the Michigan Wolverines back in the national spotlight.

DeShawn Sims scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading Michigan to an 81-73 upset of No. 4 Duke on Saturday.

Manny Harris had 17 points and Zack Novak added 14 for the Wolverines, who stunned the Blue Devils just 15 days after being embarrassed by Duke in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic.

The Wolverines have not reached the NCAA Tournament since 1998, but a pair of wins over top-five teams will go a long way toward ending that drought. Michigan has beaten two top-five teams in the regular season for the first time since 1986-87.

The Wolverines beat then-No. 4 UCLA before falling to Duke a little more than two weeks ago.

It is a promising start for a program that wasn't expected to be this competitive this soon. Beilein lost a school-record 22 games last season - his first in Ann Arbor.

"I'm at a little bit of a loss for words," Beilein said. "That was a great atmosphere, wasn't it?"

Sims said the Wolverines still have work to do, though.

"Even though we've had two big wins, we've also lost two games," he said. "It definitely says we're executing what coach wants us to do on both ends of the court."

Sims' huge game helped the Wolverines (6-2) snap a seven-game losing streak to the Blue Devils. The 6-8, 235-pound junior hit 10-of-16 from the floor - including a key 3-point play that put Michigan up, 62-55, with 5:13 to play.

Sims capped a 10-4 spurt by hitting a pair of free throws that gave Michigan a 68-59 lead with 3:07 to play, and the Wolverines hit 13 of their final 14 free throws to seal the win.

Jon Scheyer scored 16 points for Duke (8-1), which managed just six free-throw attempts (4-of-6) and looked nothing like the team that cruised to a 71-56 win on November 21 in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic.

The Blue Devils were out of sync the entire game against a Michigan team energized by a sea of fans clad in blue and maize.

Duke had won 31 straight games against unranked, non-conference opponents dating to a loss against Georgetown on January 21, 2006.

Kyle Singler scored 15 points for the Blue Devils, who hit just 7-of-33 from beyond the arc.

"Give Michigan credit," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They played great and the crowd was fantastic."

"Michigan did a good job with the 1-3-1 zone," Duke point guard Nolan Smith said. "They extended it to take away threes in the corners and on the wings."