Vols to face Florida Atlantic in Sweet 16
Tennessee muscles its way past Duke, 65-52
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The No. 4 seed Tennessee Vols are back in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 down in Orlando. The Vols are facing one of the college basketball’s elite programs, the No. 5 seed Duke Blue Devils.
Fans can watch today’s game on WVLT (CBS). Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Bonner (analyst), Stan Van Gundy (analyst) and Lauren Shehadi (reporter) will have the call.
Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate to hear Bob Kesling and Bert Bertelkamp calling the action.
Tennessee (24-10) is coming off a first-round victory over No. 13 seed Louisiana on Thursday, 58-55.
The Vols led by as many as 18 points in the second half before fending off a late rally by the Ragin’ Cajuns. Graduate Tyreke Key, playing in his first career NCAA Tournament game, led the Vols with 12 points.
Jahmai Mashack scored 11 on 4-of-6 shooting, dished three assists and grabbed two steals. The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the Sweet Sixteen of the East Region, set to be contested in New York City at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Tennessee is 7-8 all-time against Duke with no meetings in the NCAA Tournament. The most recent meeting came at the 2011 Maui Invitational, a 77-67 Duke win. Rick Barnes has a 4-9 career head coaching record against Duke.
The Blue Devils head into the game red hot. Duke (27-8) is currently on a 10-game win streak and coming off a 74-51 win over No. 12 seed Oral Roberts during Thursday’s Round of 64. The Blue Devils entered the NCAA Tournament coming off an ACC Tournament title and have not lost a game since Feb. 11.
A very physical game is about halway thru the 1st half in Orlando. The Blue Devils would hit a couple early 3′s to take a 6-2 lead, but the Vols responded with physical play inside. In fact, was Jonas Aido colliding with Duke big man Kyle Filipowski and knocking him out of the game with a cut under his eye.
The Vols would go on a 6-0 run to take a 13-10 lead with Filipowski out of the game. Olivier Nkamhoua leads UT with 4 points at the 11:29 mark.
Filipowski would return to the game and his bucket in close would cap a 9-0 Duke run to give the Blue Devils a 19-13 lead. After starting the game 5-9 from the field, the Vols shooting cooled off with Tennessee going 0-6 until Santi Vescovi drained a three from the top of the key cutting the lead to 19-16 at the under 8 minutes TV timeout.
Physical play continues as the Vols keep pace with the Blue Devils in Orlando. Duke has turned the ball over 8 times leading to several Tennessee points. Vols have done a good job taking care of the basketball and are following the lead of senior Santiago Vescovi, who has 8 points in the 1st half. Vols trail 21-20 with 3:59 to play at the Amway Center.
Josiah Jordan James would hit a 3-pointer to start the scoring in the seocnd half. The Vols would race out to a 30-21 lead, but back came the Blue Devils and an incredible lay-up by Tyrese Proctor would pull the Blue Devils to within two at 33-31.
The Vols answer with an incredible ally-oop from Tyreke Key to Olivier Nkamhoua and one. That would make the score 36-31 Big Orange. The fould went to Duke standout guard Jeremy Roach. That would be four on him and send Duke’s leading scorer to the bench.
The physical play continues, but Tennessee continues to hit clutch baskets when needed including a deep three from Vescovi to open the Vols lead back up to nine at 41-33 with 12:34 to play in this East region - 2nd Round game. Santi with 11 points now to lead the Big Orange.
Olivier Nkamhoua has taken over for Tennessee scoring the last 13 points for the Vols to give UT a 59-48 win. He’s hit from inside out out connecting on all three of his 3-pointers. Turnovers continue to plague the Blue Devils, now with 15.
Nkamhoua’s 27 points—23 of which came in the second half—tied his career-high set on Jan. 28 against Texas and came on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. From the 8:43 mark to the 4:16 mark of the second half, Nkamhoua scored 13 straight points for the Vols. In total, he scored 17 of Tennessee’s final 19 points.
A career-high-tying 27 points from Nkamhoua and a suffocating defensive performance led fourth-seeded Tennessee Saturday, as the Vols clinched the ninth Sweet Sixteen appearance in program history with a 65-52 win over No. 5 seed Duke. With the win, Tennessee (25-10) advances to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2019.
The Vols will face Florida Atlantic Thursday in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Tip off is set for 9 p.m.
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