Kenny Goins hit a go-ahead, 3-point basket with 34.3 seconds remaining as second-seeded Michigan State eliminated top-seeded Duke 68-67 in a classic East Region final Sunday at Capital One Arena in Washington.
After Goins’ basket, Duke’s RJ Barrett was short on a 3-pointer, but the ball went out of bounds off the Spartans with 8.4 seconds remaining. Barrett was fouled on a drive at the 5.2-second mark. He missed the first and made the second.
Duke never got the ball back.
Michigan State (32-6) meets third-seeded Texas Tech in Saturday’s Final Four semifinal in Minneapolis.
Cassius Winston scored 20 points and Xavier Tillman had 19 points for the Spartans. Goins finished with 10 points, including 2-for-8 on 3s.
Zion Williamson’s 24 points and 14 rebounds and Barrett’s 21 points paced Duke (32-6), with its freshman-laden star power unable to pull off another dramatic victory. Javin DeLaurier provided 10 points and 11 rebounds.
DeLaurier matched his season-high point total, reaching double figures for the first time since Dec. 8 against Yale.
Duke wiped out a four-point hole with seven straight points down the stretch.
The teams staged a back-and-forth second half.
Winston scored on a runner and Tillman added a three-point play in transition for a 63-59 edge.
Barrett’s 3-pointer with 2:29 left represented the 15th lead change as the Blue Devils took a 64-63.
Williamson scored on a drive on Duke’s next possession. Tillman’s lay-in cut it to 66-65 with 1:17 remaining.
Barrett missed at the other end, with Michigan State calling timeout with 43.6 seconds left.
Michigan State led for most of the game’s first 10 minutes before Duke’s 12-0 run sent the Blue Devils to a 30-21 lead. Barrett had 12 points by that stage.
But after Williamson was called for his second foul, the Spartans scored the next 13 points to lead 34-30 at halftime. That meant Duke had a scoring drought of 5:23 to end the half.
The run became 15-0 before Duke scored on its second possession of the second half.
Michigan State was 2-for-11 on first-half 3s, but Duke was only 3-for-10. The Blue Devils were mostly hurt by 10 turnovers before the break.
Freshman Cam Reddish was the first reserve used by Duke. He missed Friday night’s game with what was described as a knee ailment. Reddish had eight points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Duke had won the last seven meetings with Michigan State.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)