Durham, N.C. — With No. 5 Duke trailing its fiercest rival and struggling to match the magnitude of the moment, coach Mike Krzyzewski had a simple message for his team.
No pressure – and no set plays, either.
“Take the pianos off your back, quit playing with all the pressure in the world, get a smile on your face,” Krzyzewski said. “Just play.”
Marvin Bagley III had 18 of his 21 points in the second half along with 15 rebounds, and No. 5 Duke erased a 13-point deficit in the second half and beat No. 9 North Carolina 74-64 on Saturday night.
Grayson Allen added 15 points in his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Gary Trent Jr. had 13 points – including three 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes – to help the Blue Devils (25-6, 13-5) clinch the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Duke was 8 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half – the Blue Devils made just 1 of 10 from that distance in the first half – and outrebounded North Carolina 24-13 after halftime.
“They kicked our butts in the second half,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.
Cameron Johnson scored 16 points for the Tar Heels (22-9, 11-7), while Kenny Williams and Luke Maye each had 13. Three weeks after they rallied from a double-figure deficit to win the rivalry’s first game, it was the Blue Devils’ turn to flip the script.
Duke trailed by 11 with 14 1/2 minutes to play, but once the pressure started to fade, the ACC’s top offense finally found its rhythm.
“I’m not going to call any plays,” Krzyzewski said he told his team. “If you hit, cut, everybody touch the ball, you see a play to make, you make the play. And get comfortable in the game. And they did that. You could see them do that.”
(At) No. 1 Virginia 62, Notre Dame 57: Devon Hall scored 17 points in his final game at John Paul Jones Arena and No. 1 Virginia outlasted Notre Dame 62-57 on Saturday.
Ty Jerome added 13 points for the Cavaliers (28-2, 17-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their fifth in a row.
Bonzie Colson, playing in just his second game since missing 15 with a broken foot, had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Irish (18-13, 8-10). Martinas Geben added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 3 Xavier 65, (at) DePaul 62: Trevon Bluiett scored 22 points, and Xavier set a school record for regular-season wins while clinching the top seed in the Big East.
The Musketeers (27-4, 15-3) hung on for their 12th win in 13 games. That ended Villanova’s four-year run of first-place finishes.
Bluiett became the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, making four to give him 310 in his career.
Brandon Cyrus led DePaul (11-19, 4-14) with a career-high 20 points.
(At) No. 4 Villanova 97, Georgetown 73: Mikal Bridges scored 24 points and Jalen Brunson had 16 points and seven assists and Jay Wright moved into a tie atop Villanova’s career wins list with 413.
Wright improved to 413-165 since he took the job in 2001 and has led the Wildcats to the 2009 Final Four and 2016 national championship. He matched Al Severance, who went 413-201 from 1936-1961.
The Wildcats (27-4, 14-4) head to Madison Square Garden as the No. 2 seed after their run of four straight regular-season conference titles was ended by Xavier.
Jesse Govan scored 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting for the Hoyas (15-14, 5-13).
(At) Oklahoma State 82, No. 6 Kansas 64: Kendall Smith scored a career-high 25 points and Mitchell Solomon had 16 points and seven rebounds for Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State (18-13, 8-10 Big 12) swept the season series from Kansas, marking the first time that the Jayhawks have been swept in a home-and-home since 2003-04, a span of 103 series.
Devonte’ Graham, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, scored 15 points and had eight assists for the Jayhawks (24-7, 13-5), who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
No. 7 Gonzaga 83, Loyola Marymount 69: Killian Tillie scored 24 points, including making all five 3-point attempts, while Johnathan Williams added 20 points for Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals.
Zach Norvell Jr. had 17 points as top-seeded Gonzaga (28-4) could not pull away until 5 minutes left in the game, despite shooting 61 percent from the field, including 19 of 24 (79 percent) in the second half. This was Bulldogs’ 12th straight win, and 15th at the WCC Tournament.
James Batemon led eighth-seeded LMU (11-20) with 27 points.
(At) No. 12 Texas Tech 79, TCU 75: Keenan Evans scored 23 points and Texas Tech stopped a four-game losing streak.
Evans had his first double-digit scoring game since a toe injury that sidelined him at halftime of a loss to Baylor that started the skid when the Red Raiders (23-8, 11-7) were in sole possession of the Big 12 lead.
Desmond Bane scored 21 points for the Horned Frogs (21-10, 9-9), who had their first four-game conference winning streak in 20 years stopped.
(At) No. 14 Auburn 79, South Carolina 70: Bryce Brown scored 29 points, making eight 3-pointers, and Auburn claimed a share of the Southeastern Conference title.
The Tigers (25-6, 13-5) earned the top seed in next week’s SEC Tournament with their first regular-season title since 1999 and third overall.
Brown led a comeback after Auburn trailed by 14 points midway through the first half, busted out of a shooting slump in a big way. He made 8 of 12 3-pointers after going 7 for 39 over the previous four games while nursing foot and shoulder injuries.
Frank Booker led South Carolina (16-15, 7-11) with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
(At) No. 16 Tennessee 66, Georgia 61: Admiral Schofield scored 23 points to lead Tennessee’s second-half comeback Saturday as the Volunteers won a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
The Vols (23-7, 13-5) share the SEC regular-season title with Auburn.
Tennessee is getting a share of its first league crown since 2008 after being picked to finish 13th out of 14 teams by the league’s media before the season.
The Vols have won four straight and 11 of their last 13. Tennessee’s latest victory ended Georgia’s five-game winning streak in this series.
Yanta Maten had 18 points for Georgia (16-14, 7-11).
(At) Syracuse 55, No. 18 Clemson 52: Oshae Brissett and Tyus Battle each scored 17 points for Syracuse.
It was an opportunity for Syracuse (19-12, 8-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) to fill the biggest void on its resume – the lack of a marquee win – and the Orange capitalized. They were coming off a 15-point loss at Boston College, which put a big dent in their postseason hopes.
Clemson (22-8, 11-7) entered the game ranked eighth in RPI and already assured of its first NCAA Tournament berth in seven years. The Tigers finished 4-6 on the road and suffered just their second loss this season after leading at halftime.
Marcquise Reed had 21 points and Elijah Thomas 18 to lead Clemson as the pair accounted for every Clemson point in the second half.
(At) No. 19 Arizona 66, California 54: Deandre Ayton had 26 points and 20 rebounds, helping Arizona clinch the Pac-12 regular-season title outright.
Arizona (24-7, 14-4) had a hard time shaking the Bears (8-23, 2-16).
Arizona closed the game with a 13-1 run, finishing off its fifth Pac-12 title in six seasons.
Allonzo Trier, Arizona’s second-leading scorer, had a rough final home game of the 2017-18 season, finishing with two points on 1-of-10 shooting, including 0 for 7 on 3-pointers.
(At) San Diego State 79, No. 21 Nevada 74: Trey Kell scored six points in the final 1:19 to finish with 17 and fellow senior Malik Pope scored 16 to lead San Diego State.
The victory, coupled with Wyoming’s loss at Boise State, means the Aztecs (19-10, 11-7) avoid a play-in game in Las Vegas on Wednesday and will instead start in the quarterfinals on Thursday. SDSU won its sixth straight game.
Jordan Caroline scored eight of Nevada’s final 10 points in the last 3 minutes and finished with 29 for the Wolf Pack (26-6, 15-3), who had already clinched their second straight regular-season title and the No. 1 seed.
(At) Florida 80, No. 23 Kentucky 67: Jalen Hudson scored 22 points and Chris Chiozza broke the school’s all-time assist record as Florida ended Kentucky’s four-game winning streak.
The Gators (20-11, 11-7) won their third straight, swept Kentucky for the first time in four years and secured the No. 3 seed in next week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Kentucky (21-10, 10-8) with 17 points.
Marshall 76, (at) No. 24 Middle Tennessee State 67: Jon Elmore scored 23 points and Marshall swept two games from Middle Tennessee.
The Thundering Herd (21-10, 12-6 Conference USA) was the only C-USA team to beat the Blue Raiders (24-6, 16-2) this season as they ended Middle’s 11-game winning streak.
Brandon Walters led the Blue Raiders with 20 points and Nick King added 18.