(AP) – Duke consistently wins games in the NCAA Tournament, and Mike Krzyzewski keeps telling anyone who will listen, “That’s not coaching.”
There is some evidence that he is right.
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For one thing, Duke relies almost entirely on freshmen and sophomores, meaning his core group of players only have so much time to absorb the wisdom gathered from Coach’s decades. coach K. For another, Krzyzewski switched to zone defense in the second half of Thursday night’s Sweet 16 game against a tough Texas Tech team, but when the Blues needed big stops in the stretch, the His players campaigned – successfully – to get back on the field -Men.
Finally, and most importantly, perhaps, it was the kids who were said to be feeling the pressure of his impending retirement, which plowed 71% off the floor after halftime, scoring eight goals in a row. end of the match. None of the training manuals mention that.
But don’t be fooled.
On the same night, two No. 1 seeds were ousted, the reason Krzyzewski won the 100th NCAA Tournament match of his career and still headed straight for his sixth national championship was… coaching. training. No one did better.
He’s been recruiting kids with NBA-caliber talent for four decades now – that’s a specialty of its own – and then teaching them the difference between showing off and showing off as the game progresses. Duke played zonal defense about 5% of the time in the regular season, which made it a risky game when Coach K threw the switch at the Red Raiders. He then listens to his players as they plead to return, which is even more risky, and more than that, it proves that at 75, the old Blue Devils are still willing to learn the skills they need. new trick.
“Whenever they can own something, they do it better than if we just ran it,” Krzyzewski said afterward. “When they say that, I feel they will own it. They’ll make it work, and that’s probably more important than strategy in the meantime. So that’s how I looked at it.”
Three crucial defensive stops later and two late Jeremy Roach volleys moved Krzyzewski in a win on his record 13th trip to the Finals with a 78-73 win. Paolo Banchero led second seed Duke with 22 points, Mark Williams scored 16 and Roach, handing back his starting spot just before the tournament, added 15 points.
Bryson Williams leads Texas Tech’s third seed with 21 points.
Duke takes on Arkansas on Saturday with a trip to the Finals on a straight line. That was after the fourth-seeded Razorbacks, who had some similarities to the Arkansas “40 Minutes of Hell” teams, tore the league’s net in the mid-1990s, tearing top seed Gonzaga on its way to victory. 74-68.
Like those teams, coach Eric Musselman was loaded with tenacious defenders and ADCs with brief memories – especially JD Notae, who hit 20 shots and still scored 21 – and The Razorbacks were convinced that they were against the world.
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Jaylin Williams said: “We haven’t been respected all year, so it’s just another thing for us. “We saw everything they said, we felt like they were dancing before the game. …
“We had a chip on our shoulders,” he added a moment later. “Every game we do.”
Anything that Zags carries on his shoulders is like a 40-pound weight. Becoming the nation’s top scorer (87.8 points per game), Gonzaga shot 37.5% and shot 5 of 21 points from a distance of 3. NBA prospect Chet Holmgren, Zags’ skinny freshman hub, was hunted all night and saved himself a few minutes of hell by fouling a 3:29 left.
Speaking of annoyance, the 5th seed Houston did a pretty good job of tapping the inexperienced top seed Arizona. The Wildcats missed seven of their first eight shots as Houston sprinted for a 14-4 advantage and took the lead for the rest of the run, surging 21 points from Jamal Shead and 19 from Kyler Edwards to take the win. 72-60 win.
“I know we’re going to upset them, that’s what we do,” said Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson. “Our team, we are a tough team. … They are not afraid of anyone. ”
Houston lost four starting games from last season and then lost Marcus Sasser, the only return and top scorer, who broke his left foot before Christmas. And then Taze Moore, one of the transfers Sampson relied on, got his third personal foul against Arizona with 9:22 left and played only 17 minutes in the end.
“Tonight, you know, he was on the witness protection program,” Sampson said. “I couldn’t find him. Nowhere. We got him in there, we had to get him back right away.”
That won’t happen to second-seeded Villanova, where coach Jay Wright has quietly forged a small dynasty of his own. The Wildcats don’t play “disrespectful” because they’ve won too many – two national championships since 2016 – and they put together another artistic performance to beat 11th seed Michigan with win 63-55.
Jermaine Samuels, a freshman in the race for the final title in 2018 – edged out Michigan, no less competitive – leading Villanova by 22 points, and claiming the quest couldn’t be better than battling it out with Villanova. Hunter Dickinson is 7 feet-1 tall at both ends of the floor. Dickinson led Michigan with 15 points and 15 rebounds, but none of that came easily.
“I just wanted to be mobile and move,” Samuels said. “He’s a phenomenal player, so he’s going to have a great look when he’s on the basket. But I had teammates behind me that gave me all the confidence I needed. ”
By JIM LITKE AP Sports Columnist
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/25/mike-krzyzewski-coaching-duke-ncaa-tournament/ Coach K said ‘That’s not coaching.’ But it is – CBS Baltimore