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Duke edges Houston in South Region semifinal

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Duke edges Houston in South Region semifinal

DALLAS — Kyle Filipowski had 16 points and nine rebounds Friday night, and Duke advanced to the Elite Eight with a 54-51 win over top-seeded Houston, which played the final 26 minutes without All-America point guard Jamal Shead after he turned his right ankle.

Even with Shead on the bench, the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (27-8) had to overcome a physical defense that has been one of the best in the country. They won despite a season low in points and advanced to the South Region final against an Atlantic Coast Conference rival — No. 11 seed North Carolina State — for a spot in the Final Four.

“We know we’ve got a great team,” Filipowski said. “We’ve been through so much this year … we just stuck together.”

The Wolfpack, the only double-digit seed left in the NCAA Tournament, beat No. 2 seed Marquette 67-58, their eighth win in a row in a streak that included a 74-69 victory over the Blue Devils just two weeks ago in the ACC Tournament.

“It’s going to be crazy. A rematch of the ACC Tournament,” Duke guard Jeremy Roach said. “Obviously they’ve done a hell of a job. … They’re on a crazy run.”

Roach scored all of his 14 points in the second half for the Blue Devils, including a jumper in the lane with 1:15 left for a 54-48 lead.

LJ Cryer had 15 points for Houston and J’Wan Roberts had 13. Shead finished with two points on 1-of-5 shooting with three assists and two steals.

Shead departed with 6:38 left in the first half after his right foot turned awkwardly on a drive while missing a contested layup. By then, he had been on the floor under the basket for about 15 seconds while play continued at the other end until Houston got the ball after a Duke miss.

The senior guard, who has been part of 120 wins at Houston in his four seasons, reached for his foot when he went down and then pulled his jersey up over his face. He walked gingerly past the Houston bench and to the locker room after getting tended to by an athletic trainer. He sat on the bench throughout the second half, and limped off the court after the Cougars (32-5) became the second No. 1 seed knocked out — a night after North Carolina lost to Alabama.

Second-year Duke coach Jon Scheyer was part of Duke’s last two national titles — as a player in 2010 and as an assistant coach in 2015. He was also on staff for the Final Four two years ago in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season.

When Shead exited, the Blue Devils trailed 16-10. They took their first lead when Tyrese Proctor made two free throws to make it 21-20 with 2:46 left in the first half — and they never trailed again, even after Cryer banked in a short floater at the buzzer to get Houston within 23-22.

Duke never led by more than six points, and Houston still had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. Emanuel Sharp’s tough 3-point try over Proctor was no good. There was less than a second on the clock when Houston guard Mylik Wilson was out of bounds on the floor when trying to get the rebound.

Sharp converted a three-point play with 48 seconds left for the Cougars, and they got the ball back for a final possession after Ramon Walker Jr. rebounded a miss by Filipowski with 25 seconds left.

Duke finished with 14 turnovers, but that was after three on its first four possessions and falling behind 8-0 in the first 3 1/2 minutes.



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