Zion Williamson helped Duke hold off UCF 77-76 in a thriller in the round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Duke star Williamson finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds. RJ Barrett chipped in 16 points, including the game-winner, for the Blue Devils.
Tacko Fall, UCF's center, tallied 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the losing effort.
Duke fight off first challengers – barely
The Blue Devils were two rolls away from going home early.
Duke were trailing by three with 14 seconds left when Williamson was fouled while finishing a layup. He could have tied the score but missed the ensuing foul shot. Barrett, however, corralled the rebound and converted a layup of his own, which gave his team a one-point advantage.
The Knights had the final possession and B.J. Taylor created a good look for the potential game-winner. His shot, however, rolled out and Aubrey Dawkins' put-back attempt also bounced off the rim and out, sealing Duke’s win.
Fall can hold his own, when he's on the floor
Fall came to play.
The big man was a force on both ends of the floor. He altered multiple Duke shots and converted easy dunks around the rim.
During one sequence early in the first half, Fall blocked Williamson and followed with a put-back slam on the other end of the floor.
Fall also blocked Williamson about eight minutes into the final period, although there appeared to be a foul on the play.
But, Fall dealt with foul trouble throughout the game, which limited his minutes. He fouled out with less than 30 seconds to play, moments before Barrett pulled in the offensive rebound that led to the deciding basket.
UCF were more than just Fall
Fall received most of the publicity entering the game. The Knights, however, are more than just one player.
Dawkins, son of UCF coach Johnny Dawkins, delivered his best performance on the biggest stage. He tallied 32 points, along with four assists, and made shot after shot down the stretch to keep his team's upset bid alive.
Dawkins entered the game averaging 15.1 points this season.
Meanwhile, Taylor struggled from the field – he shot two-of-10 – yet he converted on all but one of his 10 free-throw attempts and registered 15 points.
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