THE OPENING TIP
- A win away from the Final Four, No. 2 Duke battles No. 4 Arkansas Saturday night in San Francisco in the championship game of the NCAA Tournament West Regional at Chase Center.
- The game tips at approximately 8:49 p.m. ET on TBS with Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and Grant Hill on the call. On the radio locally, David Shumate and John Roth call the action on the Blue Devil Sports Network from Learfield.
- Duke’s 23 Elite Eight appearances are third most in NCAA history, while the 17 trips to the Elite Eight by head coach Mike Krzyzewski extend his NCAA record. Duke is 16-6 in the regional final round.
- The Blue Devils and Razorbacks have met three times previously, including twice in the Final Four. In 1990, Duke won, 97-83, to reach the championship game, while Arkansas won the title in 1994, 76-72.
- The Blue Devils own the best winning percentage in NCAA Tournament history at .755 (117-38), while the program’s 117 wins rank third and five championships are fourth most.
- Only five programs have more tournament wins than Coach K’s 100 – Kentucky (129),UNC (128), Duke (117), Kansas (111) and UCLA (108).
- Sophomore Jeremy Roach has scored 15 points in each of Duke’s last two wins over Michigan State and Texas Tech — of his 30 points, 24 have come in the second half.
- A second-team consensus All-American and the ACC Freshman of the Year, Paolo Banchero is the program’s 75th All-American (52nd under Coach K). He is the 31st consensus pick under Coach K.
- In the postseason, Banchero is averaging team highs in points (17.7), rebounds (7.8), assists (4.0) and steals (1.7), while shooting .586 from the field with two 20-point games and three double-doubles.
- Sophomore Mark Williams’ .713 field goal percentage is second on Duke’s single-season list. He would lead the nation, but falls just short of the minimum five field goals per game to qualify (4.9).
- Williams is the nation’s only player shooting .700+ from the field and .700+ free throws (min. 150 FG). Since at least 1992-93, only one other player in college basketball has posted a similar statline.
- Duke has trailed or been tied in the final five minutes of four postseason wins this season — Syracuse, Miami, Michigan State, Texas Tech — and closed those games on combined runs of 57-22.
NCAA TOURNEY SUPREMACY
With five national titles and 116 tournament wins, Duke is among the most successful programs in NCAA Tournament history … Since winning the program’s first title in 1991, Duke’s five titles are the most in the NCAA in this span … Duke’s 24 consecutive appearances between 1996 and 2019 rank tied for the third longest streak in NCAA history … The Blue Devils have played in 36 of the past 38 NCAA Tournaments that have been contested … Duke is 117-38 (.755) all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which is No. 1 in winning percentage and third in wins … The coach with the most wins in NCAA Tournament history (100-30), Mike Krzyzewski is in his NCAA-record 36th tournament. Coach K’s .769 tourney win percentage is second to only John Wooden (.825) … Duke is in the Elite Eight for the 23rd time in program history and the 17th time under Coach K to extend his NCAA record … Duke has been to the Elite Eight in each of its last three NCAA Tournament appearances (2018, 2019, 2022).
DUKE VS. ARKANSAS
Duke and Arkansas have met just three previous times, but not since the Razorbacks clipped the Blue Devils to win the 1994 National Championship, 76-72, in Charlotte, N.C. … Duke beat Arkansas, 97-83, in the 1990 Final Four in Denver to advance to the Championship Game … The only non-Final Four meeting was a 98-88 UA victory in the NIT Season Tipoff, Nov. 21, 1990 at Madison Square Garden.
ON THIS DATE
Duke is 6-1 when playing on March 26, last playing on this date in 2010 — a 70-57 win over Purdue in the South Regional Semifinal in Houston behind 24 points from Kyle Singler … In 1988, Duke defeated top-seeded Temple, 63-53, to win the East Regional in East Rutherford, N.J. and advance to the Final Four … The next season, it was a win over top-seeded Georgetown in East Rutherford on this date to reach the Final Four … Wins over Purdue (in 1994) and Illinois (2004) also lifted Duke to the Final Four in those seasons.
NCAA SWEET 16 NOTABLES
Texas Tech became the 82nd different program that Coach K has defeated in the NCAA Tournament … Duke trailed 33-29 at halftime — now 3-2 when trailing at the half … Trailing 56-55 with 8:19 remaining, Duke finished the game 8-of-8 from the field and 6-of-9 at the free throw line … Duke shot 17-of-24 from the field in the second half – the .708 shooting percentage was its single-half high this season … The 78 points allowed by Texas Tech were its most yielded in regulation this season … Duke is 16-3 overall this season in road and neutral site games … Duke had five players in double figures in points for the game … Duke surpassed the 10,000-point mark by a Coach K teams in the NCAA Tournament — only five programs have scored at least 10,000 points in the tournament (Kentucky, UNC, UCLA, Duke, Kansas).
LATE POSTSEASON HEROICS LIFT BLUE DEVILS
Duke has trailed or been tied in the final five minutes of four postseason wins this season — trailed Syracuse, 79-78, with 3:32 remaining in the ACC quarterfinals, was tied with Miami, 65-65, with five minutes left in the ACC semifinals, trailed Michigan State, 70-65, with five minutes remaining in the NCAA second round and trailed Texas Tech, 68-66, with 3:16 left … Duke closed those games on combined runs of 57-22, including scoring the final 10 points of the Syracuse game, out-scoring Michigan State, 20-6, and finishing the Texas Tech game on a 12-5 run … The combination of sophomore Jeremy Roach (15 points), junior Wendell Moore Jr. (12), freshman Paolo Banchero (11) and freshman Trevor Keels (10) and accounted for nearly 85 percent of Duke’s points in those runs … Syracuse was a sizzling 47 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point (13-of-26) range before missing its final nine shots, including five from behind the arc … Duke made clutch free throws and forced Miami’s experienced backcourt into multiple turnovers to pull away … Against Sparty, Duke hit its final five shots from the field, made 8-of-10 free throws, while blocking two MSU shots and getting a timely steal as the 20-6 game-ending run produced an 85-76 win … Freshman Trevor Keels hit a clutch three to tie the MSU game at 72-72, while Roach’s triple from the left wing put Duke up four 78-74 with 1:15 to play … In the Texas Tech comeback, Duke trailed by as many as four (56-52) with 9:24 left before Banchero triggered a game-ending 26-17 run with a three-pointer with 8:19 remaining. Duke was 8-of-8 from the field over the final 8:19 in that game.
DUKE IN NBA ARENAS
For a college team that has produced 21 current NBA players, Duke has been tough to beat when playing in NBA venues … Duke is a combined 91-31 (.746) in 12 current NBA venues … The Blue Devils have won 20 of their last 24 at NBA venues, including a 118-84 win over Kentucky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the 2018 Champions Classic, going 3-0 in the 2019 ACC Tournament at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, a win over Virginia Tech in the 2019 Sweet 16 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., beating Kentucky in the Champions Classic this season at MSG, and going 2-1 at the ACC Tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn … Duke is 1-0 in Chase Center after Thursday’s win.
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