Duke basketball needs last second heroics as Coach K departs early

Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team needed last-second heroics to hang on against Wake Forest. 

Tuesday night was a weird night inside Cameron Indoor Stadium as the Duke basketball team battled a Wake Forest (20-7, 10-6 ACC) team that desperately needed a victory to improve its NCAA Tournament resume.

The No. 9 Blue Devils (22-4, 12-3 ACC) looked to be on their way to a second blowout victory over the Demon Deacons this season with a nine-point lead at halftime, 42-33.

However, head coach Mike Krzyzewski was feeling ill throughout the first half, getting assistance from the trainers throughout the opening 20 minutes, and did not come out of the locker room to coach the second half.

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Jon Scheyer assumed head coaching duties, and it still looked like Duke would roll to an easy victory as the lead grew to 19 points in the second half, 57-38.

But Wake Forest never quit.

The trio of Jake LaRavia, Alondes Williams, and Dallas Walton combined for 54 points as the Deacons tied the game at 74 with 18.4 seconds left.

However, Mark Williams would slam back a Paolo Banchero miss with 0.4 seconds left to secure victory for the Blue Devils, 76-74.

A full-court heave by Damari Monsanto nearly went in — although it appears to have left his hand just after the final buzzer.

Williams and Wendell Moore led the way with 16 points each as Banchero posted 13 points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Duke basketball doesn’t have true update on Mike Krzyzewski

Jon Scheyer and Wendell Moore said after the game that Mike Krzyzewski was feeling better and addressed the team after its victory, but the program has not updated the status of its head coach any further.

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Moore went on to tell the media in his post-game availability that he thinks the Duke head coach had IVs in the locker room during the second half.

Saturday evening against Florida State (14-11, 7-8 ACC) is the penultimate home game in the career of Mike Krzyzewski before the Blue Devils hit the road for three straight games prior to hosting North Carolina (18-7, 10-4 ACC) in the regular-season finale on March 5.

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