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Duke captures fifth title

2015 Division I Men’s Basketball

Tyus Jones must really like playing the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On Dec. 3, the Duke University freshman scored 22 points in a 10-point win over the Badgers. He eclipsed that total only once all season before dropping 23 in the national championship game against that same Wisconsin team. For his effort, Jones was named Most Outstanding Player as the Blue Devils defeated the Badgers, 68-63, to capture their fifth title, all under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Jones was just one of four freshmen who played integral roles on this year’s Duke squad. That was never more evident than at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 6, when first-year players scored 60 of the team’s 68 points, including all 37 in the second half.

Sixteen of those were scored by little-known Grayson Allen, who had just 18 points during the previous five tournament games combined. Yet, with the Blue Devils down, 48-39, with under 13 minutes to play, it was Allen who hit a 3-pointer, converted a three-point play and made two more free throws to spark Duke’s comeback.

Then, it was time for the most celebrated of Coach K’s freshmen to rise to the occasion. When he wasn’t sitting on the bench in foul trouble, Jahlil Okafor spent most of the night getting schooled by National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky. That was until the final three minutes of the game, when Okafor converted a pair of key layups to finish off the Badgers.

Despite the exploits of his young teammates, it was senior Quinn Cook’s leadership that kept Duke focused all year.

“I’m just blessed that coach thought I was good enough to come to Duke,” he said.

Krzyzewski’s fifth national championship puts him alone in second place on the coaches list behind UCLA’s John Wooden, and Duke is now tied for third all-time, trailing only the Bruins and Kentucky.

The Results

2015 Division I Men’s Basketball

Duke 68, Wisconsin 63

Duke 81, Michigan State 61
Wisconsin 71, Kentucky 64

Tyus Jones

Colby Wollenman, Michigan State

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