Ball State magic finally ran out against Duke
Friday, November 23, 2001
LAHIANA, Hawaii -- Duke emphatically ended Ball State's run of Top Five upsets.
The top-ranked Blue Devils beat the Cardinals 83-71 Wednesday night, something No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Kansas couldn't do the previous two days, and won the Maui Invitational for the third time in as many appearances.
"We were just involved in a great basketball game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's the hottest I've ever been in a gym but that's great."
Duke's run to the title wasn't without a scare -- the defending national champions just got past Seton Hall 80-79 in the opening round. But the Blue Devils (3-0) never gave Ball State (2-1) a shot at completing what would have been the best three days a team, especially an unranked one from a mid-major conference, ever had.
"I was just glad to be along for the ride," second-year Ball State coach Tim Buckley said. "I was told once that 100 people can handle failure but one in a 100 can handle success. Now we have to see how we handle success."
Unbelievably quick Jason Williams led Duke's defense while still coming up with 22 points. Tournament MVP Mike Dunleavy shook off first-half foul trouble to play his usual all-around game and had 16 points and nine rebounds. Carlos Boozer was a presence in the middle with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
That's how Duke pulled away from the team that had stunned college basketball the last two days.
Ball State beat Kansas 93-91 in the opening round, showing grit in coming back from a late-game deficit to win on a driving basket by Patrick Jackson with less than a second to play.
The Cardinals had only three turnovers in their 91-73 win over UCLA in the semifinals. They had that many in the opening three minutes against Duke and finished the first half with 12.