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Arizona-Duke game blog: Duke dispatched; Wildcats roar into Elite Eight

Derrick Williams and MoMo Jones celebrate in the second half near a dejected Kyle Singler. Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

More from Sean Miller: “In the second half, we just had a bunch of guys playing fearlessly.”

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Sean Miller on postgame radio show on 1290-AM: “We had a saying going into the game: ‘Attack or be attacked.’ Which one is it, because there is no in between.”

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In the program’s best NCAA Tournament game in a decade, Arizona stunned No. 1 seed Duke 93-77 to advance to the West Region final against UConn.

The Wildcats survived the first half because of the pinpoint shooting of Derrick Williams, and then the Wildcats unleashed the full barrage against the Blue Devils — on offense, on defense, from the outside, from the inside, on the glass … everywhere.

So much for the defending national champs.

Next up is UConn in Anaheim on Saturday. The game starts at 4:05 p.m.

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Arizona leads 90-74 with 2:18 left. Coach K looks like a lost puppy.

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Derrick Williams had one of the best first-half performances in the history of the school. Arizona’s total team effort in the second half against Duke is one of best in a long, long time.

Arizona leads 86-69 with 3:47 to go.

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The Wildcats are dunking on Duke as if they’re playing an intramural team. Charles Barkley was right at halftime when he said he thought Arizona was in good position because of it would wear down Duke, which had some foul trouble.

The Wildcats are up, stunningly, 77-63 with 6:47 to play.

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Duke looks like the young, flustered team. Arizona attacking.

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Kyle Singler’s fourth foul comes with 10:40 to play. He has 18 points.

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Arizona continues to pour it on and the Cats are playing some ferocious defense, which is fueling opportunities on offense. The Wildcats have outscored Duke 28-11 in the half and lead 66-55 with 11:10 to go.

Can Duke, like Texas last week against Arizona, come all the way back?

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That’s a 13-0 run for Arizona for a 60-53 lead. Are we really seeing this?

Derrick Williams is fired up in the second half. Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

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The entire Arizona team has come to play in the second half, with MoMo Jones hitting a pull-up jumper in transition to tie the game at 53. Now, Jones will be going to the line with a chance to give the Cats the lead with 15:18 left.

Gotta say, no matter what happens, the Wildcats have backed up their promise to match Duke’s intensity.

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The “others” arrive. Solomon Hill with four points after halftime, Kyle Fogg with a 3-pointer, Jesse Perry with a layup after an assist from MoMo Jones.

Arizona trails by only one, 48-47 with 17:04 to play. The Wildcats are on a 9-2 run, with none of the points coming from Derrick Williams.

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Notes Javier Morales of TucsonCitizen.com: Khalid Reeves’ NCAA Tournament record of 32 points for Arizona is in serious jeopardy. Reeves did it in 1994 vs. Loyola (Md). Derrick Williams is doing it against Duke.

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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski at the halftime interview: “Williams has been fantastic; he’s been phenomenal. He’s the difference right now. We’re playing well, but he’s playing great.”

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Duke’s Nolan Smith, the ACC Player of the Year, has only two points. Kyrie Irving, in his third game back from injury, has 14 points off the bench.

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Watch out TucsonCitizen.com blogger Ernie McCray: Derrick Williams is coming after your 51-year school-record of 46 points in a game.

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To repeat: Arizona can’t run its offense, but Derrick Williams is unstoppable, and his long 3-pointer near the buzzer stops a 5-0 Duke run and brings the Cats within 44-38 at the half.

Williams has 25 points and is 8 of 11 from the field — 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

If Arizona goes on to win this game, might we be seeing the best performance in school history?

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Other than Derrick Williams going crazy, Arizona has had trouble running its offense. That’s what happens when you don’t have a point guard who can control the game, direct the action and get others involved.

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Derrick Williams … unbelievable. How can he be a combination of Sean Elliott, Brian Williams and Salim Stoudamire?

D-Will has 22 points, including four 3-point baskets. He has willed Arizona to keep it close, as the Cats trail 39-35 with two minutes left in the half.

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An 8-0 Duke run gives the Blue Devils a 31-20 lead with 6:17 to play in the half. Can’t lose contact here. Arizona needs to turn this into more of a grind.

Derrick Williams is 5 of 7. The rest of the team is 3 of 13.

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Kyle Singler gets the continuation call after a foul by Jamelle Horne. He makes the free throw and has 13 points. Shades of Mike Dunleavy Jr. in 2001 …

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Derrick Williams goes over the double team to put in a basket for his 12th point of the game. Duke leads 23-20 with 7:50 left in the half. Which of the “others” are going to step up for Arizona?

The seven turnovers an issue for the Cats right now.

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Nice of Verne Lundquist to give Kyryl Natyazhko a “v” at the end of his name. It’s all about the prep work, Verne.

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Jordin Mayes = can’t miss. He has now made 10 consecutive 3-pointers, going back to the Pac-10 tournament.

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Derrick Williams slams home a one-handed dunk off a rebound, causing the CBS announcers’ hearts to flutter.

Says Bill Raftery: “Say it isn’t so!”

Verne Lundquist: “Man, oh, man, that was something!”

Yeah, Williams has been great early, but Duke leads 17-13 with 12:53 to go in the half as UA can’t yet guard Kyle Singler. Wiliams and Singler each have 10 points.

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OK. First TV timeout. Duke leads 8-6 at the 15:45 mark, but the stage doesn’t look too big for Arizona, which hasn’t made any silly, youthful, nervous mistakes. For the Blue Devils, Kyle Singler has hit two 3-pointers.

What are you going to do?

Duke is going to hit some 3-pointers, perhaps a bunch of them. It’s just that it’s a bad sign if Singler is making them.

He had been slumping in a big way, hitting only two 3-pointers in the past seven games. So, naturally, he has two before the first TV timeout tonight.

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Gotta admire MoMo Jones. He thinks he can drive to the hoop against anyone.

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Bill Raftery is the game analyst for CBS, so it won’t be long before we have a “Send it in, Jerome!” reference regarding Sean Miller’s pass that led to a glass-shattering dunk back at Pitt.

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Charles Barkley likes Arizona to advance, saying Arizona will be the more physical team. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong … but I have a hard time taking anything he says about college basketball seriously.

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Earlier this week, college basketball stat guru Ken Pomeroy gave Arizona a 17.1 percent chance of beating Duke and advancing to the regional final, a 5.3 percent chance of making the Final Four, a 1.1 percent chance of reaching the title game and a 0.3 percent chance of winning it all.

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About 90 minutes until tip-off, and I’m pretty sure I have reached information overload.

There have lots to write, plenty to read, matchups to ponder, memories to relive … and now we’ll just have to see how it all plays out: Arizona-Duke in the Sweet 16.

This will be our spot for our in-game analysis and commentary. Have your say — type quickly at commercials or in between the action — in the comments section.

We’ll end the intro with Arizona sophomore Derrick Williams, talking Wednesday about his mentality for tonight’s game:

“Winning. That’s what I want to do. It’s all about winning, it doesn’t matter about stats. I don’t care if I have four points and three rebounds. As long as we win a national championship I’m happy with that. …

“People might say we’re not supposed to win, but we all came here to win. And if you didn’t
think we’re gonna win, then I don’t know if you should’ve come on the trip. I think that’s our
mentality; nobody wants to go home yet to Tucson. We want to stay here as long as we can and hopefully we’ll get these next two games on the way to Houston.”

More Arizona-Duke coverage from TucsonCitizen.com:

Javier Morales: Arizona vs. Duke: Starting frontcourt matchup

Javier Morales: Starting perimeter matchup

Javier Morales: Bench matchup

Javier Morales: Ex-Wildcats leery of Coach K’s impact on the referees in Sweet 16 game

Javier Morales: Arizona finally gets rematch with Duke 10 years later

Javier Morales: Coaching matchup and prediction

Steve Rivera: Great games remembered — Arizona vs. Duke

Steve Rivera: Lute Olson on Arizona-Duke: ‘Should be another great game’

Miller has ultimate respect for Coach K … and little success against him

Ice-cold Blue Devils? Arizona can only hope

Confessions of a Duke fan

Mike Krzyzewski: Derrick Williams ‘doesn’t get the publicity’

Arizona in the NCAA’s: It’s a charmed life

Sweet 16 rewind: Arizona’s greatest upset over No. 1 Kansas in 1997

Brad Allis: Sweet 16 notes

Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin: Arizona must be confident against Duke

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