ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Olivier Nkamhoua was a small hesitant to enter Tennessee’s postgame locker place right after a job overall performance in opposition to powerhouse Duke in the NCAA Tournament. So Uros Plavsic picked him up and delivered him to teammates waiting to douse him with water.
It was a fitting payback considering Nkamhoua had carried the Volunteers considerably of the afternoon.
Nkamhoua tied his job large with 27 details, including 13 straight for Tennessee through a decisive extend in the next half, and the fourth-seeded Volunteers bullied Duke 65-52 on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 for the initial time since 2019.
“We’re a tough, tricky-nosed workforce,” Nkamhoua said. “That’s how we enjoy everyone. But realizing they had a large amount of freshmen, we realized that if we occur in and use additional strain and be rough and actual physical, then they would have to offer with it.
“What we were being indicating ahead of the sport is we were being heading to bring them into the mud with us and make them engage in a rough, tricky-nosed video game and see if they have been all set for it.”
They weren’t, and Tennessee’s working experience – the Vols start off four seniors – proved also much for Duke’s highly touted freshmen.
Santiago Vescovi extra 14 factors and 5 helps for Tennessee (25-10), which ended Duke’s 10-sport successful streak and sent very first-calendar year mentor Jon Scheyer – charged with replacing Mike Krzyzewski – house after just two NCAA Tournament online games. Not absolutely sure Mentor K could have done anything at all unique to battle these Vols, who applied a level of “bully ball” to ship the fifth-seeded Blue Devils (27-9) packing.
“We feel we’re at our finest when we can do that,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes mentioned.
Nkamhoua built 10 of 13 pictures and place an exclamation mark on Tennessee’s victory with an emphatic slam with 1:15 remaining. It prompted Vols enthusiasts to start out chanting and sent Duke fans scrambling for the the exits.
“You have to seriously function for anything in a sport like this,” claimed Scheyer, whose group turned the ball in excess of 15 moments and designed just 6 of 22 from 3-stage range. “You have to function to get open.”
Tennessee highly developed to experience Florida Atlantic or Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday at Madison Square Backyard in New York Town.
Duke didn’t manage Tennessee’s imposing design and style quite effectively all afternoon. The Volunteers established the tone early, evidently wanting to drive about Kyle Filipowski and get their palms in the faces of guards Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor.
Vols big guy Uros Plavsic picked up two offensive fouls in the first four minutes, both of those going in opposition to Filipowski. Duke’s 7-footer later took an elbow to his confront and finished up with a modest slash below his still left eye.
Proctor struggled to inbound the ball various occasions, finding a five-2nd simply call, turning it more than after and almost providing it up again. Roach experienced even a lot more challenges, selecting up up his fourth foul with 15 minutes remaining and finishing with five turnovers.
“We put together for a dogfight each individual activity,” Nkamhoua reported. “When we get people today participating in our game, it just guarantees that we’re going to be in our component.”
It assisted that the Vols took much better treatment of the ball than they did in their 1st-round victory towards Louisiana-Lafayette. They turned it above just 9 periods, fifty percent as many as they did Thursday and their fewest given that stage guard Zakai Zeigler sustained a time-ending knee harm last thirty day period.
Proctor led Duke with 16 points and 6 helps. Roach and Filipowski chipped in 13 points apiece. Dereck Lively II was scoreless but had 11 rebounds and two blocks.
“I thought we ran out of gasoline down the stretch,” Scheyer claimed.
Duke: The Blue Devils played with no 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward Mark Mitchell, who was a late scratch due to the fact of a knee injury. It’s not likely Mitchell would have produced a distinction, but he surely would have served down lower from the Vols.
Tennessee: The Vols stumbled into the tournament owning missing 6 of 10, but now they have a profitable streak and have obviously re-founded their id as a huge, physical, deep, defensive-minded group able of providing anybody suits.
Duke: The Blue Devils switch their awareness to what comes about with their expertise-laden staff and the NBA. All eyes will be on freshmen Dereck Energetic II, Filipowski and Proctor and their pending choices.
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