The big day has finally arrived. The Duke basketball team had to establish itself on a sunny Sunday in South Carolina. Everything would come crumbling down if this did not happen.
With five minutes left in this frenetic, meet-the-hype second-round NCAA Tournament game, the second-seeded Blue Devils were down 70-65 to No. 7 Michigan State. The possibility of being eliminated was now on the table. The possibility of Mike Krzyzewski’s career coming to an end had entered the room and hovered in the air.
The Duke Basketball Team Turned The Tables In The Last 5 Minutes
Michigan State wasn’t there to play; it was there to rip the Duke Basketball team apart. Tom Izzo’s team was hungry, aware, and opportunistic. Deep into the second half, the Spartans were demonstrating their ability to derail Duke’s plans and send Krzyzewski to retirement a few weeks earlier than planned.
“When we went down, I was thinking — we were young for a spell there, and I was wondering whether we were going to stay youthful,” Krzyzewski explained. A.J. Griffin, Duke’s grumpy starting shooting guard, made things even more difficult for the Blue Devils.
With 8:32 remaining and Duke leading 63-61, he was relegated to a spectator after injuring what seemed to be his left ankle. So there they were these fun-but-flawed Blue Devils, with their greatest shooter who also happened to be a fan. Three minutes after Griffin’s injury, MSU gained its first lead since 11:11 of the first half when Tyson Walker hit a 3-pointer to make it 68-65. Sparty’s lead extended to five points after a pair of Marcus Bingham Jr. foul throws.
The final five minutes of the Duke basketball team’s 85-76 triumph over Michigan State on Sunday might end up being the finest and/or most meaningful stretch of the season. It saved the day on Sunday, and it might lead to something far greater. The Blue Devils turned Michigan State inside out after suffering their worst deficit of the night. Duke played its finest defensive stretch of the season from the time the game was 70-65 in favor of MSU, all things considered.