Zags beat Arizona in semis of Maui Invitational

Zags beat Arizona in semis of Maui Invitational

The Blue Devils fell behind by 16 in the second half before firing up the Blue Devil express with a series of head-above-the-rim dunks and drives.

The Blue Devils will take on No. 3 Gonzaga in their third top-10 matchup of the season, but with so many different stars to fall back on, Duke could just cruise to a marquee matchup blowout as they did against the then-No.

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Halftime-Gonzaga 39-32. 3-Point Goals-Gonzaga 7-19 (Hachimura 2-3, Norvell 2-6, J.Jones 1-1, Perkins 1-2, Kispert 1-5, Petrusev 0-1, Crandall 0-1), IL 10-31 (Frazier 6-13, Jordan 2-6, Griffin 1-1, Dosunmu 1-3, Feliz 0-1, Williams 0-1, Nichols 0-2, Bezhanishvili 0-4). For Duke, it allows them to humble themselves amidst so many comparisons to some of the best college basketball teams to play the game.

Duke's men's basketball program looked pretty invincible during its first couple of games of the 2018-19 regular season. Norvell, who missed his first nine shots in the semifinals against Arizona and then exploded for 20 points in the second half to save the Bulldogs, finished with 18 points thanks to a 4-for-7 performance from beyond the arc and providing a highlight to match Duke's ever-expanding reel when he blew by Barrett and uncorked a circus lefty lay-in in the first half. Barrett finished with a game-high 23 points but needed a whopping 25 shots to get there, and his heroball in the final minute can't possibly be the only option on a team with so many weapons. Clarke clanked two with 30 seconds left and Hachimura came up empty on two more with 10 seconds left. The way the Zags hung on late in the game was also impressive, coming up with multiple stops in the final minute to finish off the two-point win. The Zags leaped in celebration after a game with a Final Four feel packaged in a small-town rec centre.

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Monday against San Diego State in the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational, it was Zion Williamson kicking things off.

Coach K's team doesn't look so invincible anymore, though.

Duke will face the victor of Gonzaga-Arizona on Wednesday evening after winning its second straight in Hawaii. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Williamson and Barrett combined to shoot just 14-of-33 (42.4 percent) in the paint Wednesday, a drop from the 64.3 percent clip they'd produced in the paint during the first five games. Gonzaga blocked the Blue Devils out of another title. Williamson had seven offensive rebounds by himself. Gonzaga went on another run, pushing the lead 79-67 and kept the Wildcats at bay from there.

A Duke run was inevitable.

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