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2019-2020 High School Bounce




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NCAA TOURNAMENT: South Regional, Elite 8 Sunday Results

compiled from staff and news reports

With the Duke Blue Devils not reaching the Final Four since 2004, the loyal fan base were getting restless but coach Mike Krzyzewski says all the fuss didn’t bother him.

But don’t look now, Coach K has his team on the cusp of one win away from the national championship game.

Duke received a career-high 29 points from Nolan Smith in a 78-71 win over the Baylor Bears in Houston, Texas  that put Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils back into college basketball’s biggest stage, the Final Four.

Jon Scheyer (Duke photography)

Jon Scheyer added five 3-point baskets and scored 20 points for Duke, ending  local favorite Baylor’s dream run in the South Regional final.  The Blue Devils became this year’s only number 1 seed to advance to Indianapolis and earned their 11th Final Four berth under Coach K.

LaceDarius Dunn had 22 points and Epke Udoh scored 18 for the third-seeded Bears who end the season at 28-8. The Baylor program was in shambles and   under scrutiny when head coach Scott Drew took over in the wake of  scandal and murder almost seven years ago.

Drew took the Bears from the outhouse to the brink of their first Final Four appearance in 60 years.  After three consecutive 20-win seasons and an unexpected postseason run which now has the public recognizing it is a solid program and tragedy of the summer of 2003 can be put to rest for good.

Scott Drew was 32 years old when he was hired and had only been a head coach for just one season,winning 20 games at Valparaiso while his Dad, Homer Drew was on a sabbatical. Scott prior to that spent nine years as his Dad’s assistant. He had to rebuild his program in the always tough Big 12 Conference with a reduction in scholarships and a roster torn-apart by the transfers of the top three scorers after that tragic summer in 2003 when Patrick Dennehy was shot to death by a teammate.

Nolan Smith (Duke photography)

Baylor made it to the NCAA tournament two years ago, when it lost in the first round to Purdue, and to the NIT championship game last April.

The Bears, from Waco, Texas, were picked 10th in the preseason poll by the Big 12 coaches at the beginning of this season after losing three 1,000-point scorers to graduation.  But they were the last Big 12 team still playing.

By beating Baylor, the Blue Devils will play East Regional champion West Virginia in the national semifinals Saturday night.  They have won 11 of their last 12 regional finals under Coach K, but haven’t won a national title since 2001.

Mike Krzyzewski made his first Final four with the Blue Devils in 1986 and hadn’t had a gap this long between trips to the biggest stage in college basketball.

Duke ended the Final Four drought at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans, only 3 1/2 hours from Baylor University’s campus in Waco.  Most of the crowd of 47,492 were dressed in green and gold colors of the Bears and had an impact on keeping Baylor in the game through the end.

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