The defending national champions survived, but just barely. The Duke Blue Devils struggled to stop a furious comeback by the Michigan Wolverines in their West Region 3rd round game in Charlotte on Sunday. Duke held on for a 73-71 victory over the Wolverines, who lack a senior on the roster. Darius Morris missed a tying jumper with five seconds left as the Wolverines came back from as many as 14 down in the second half.
Morris had 16 points to lead the Wolverines, who placed five players in double figures. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 15 points for Michigan, including a late 3-pointer that cut the Duke lead to one with a minute and a half to play. Kyrie Irving answered with a short jumper to put Duke back up by three, but Morris scored with 10 seconds left to make it 72-71 in favor of Duke.
Michigan’s final chance came when Nolan Smith hit one of two free throws with nine seconds left to push the lead to two. Michigan quickly brought the ball up the floor, but Morris was unable to convert and Smith corralled the rebound to run out the clock. Smith led all scorers with 24 points on the day.