Duke missed out on a chance in the final four after a 67-68 blow to Michigan State. A missed three-pointer and free throws were the final shots for Duke before they lost. All three final shots were taken by RJ Barrett, rather than superstar Zion Williamson, and Duke fans were livid with the decision.
Zion Williamson dropped 24 points and 14 rebounds against the Spartans, but most likely played his last college basketball game. Coming in as a freshmen and being the best player in the nation is no easy task, but Zion made it seem simple. The odds of him going first overall in this year’s NBA Draft are much more likely than him returning for his sophomore season. Williamson has won both the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Tournament MVP, and is the first freshman to ever accomplish this feat. He also shot 68% from the open-court this season, which is the highest percentage ever by a D-1 freshman.
Cam Reddish, who completes the starting trio with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, was also inexcusably poor on Sunday. He scored a total of 8 points in his 37 minutes and went only 2-6 on three-pointers. Reddish, who is well known for his strong perimeter scoring, disappointed the Blue Devil fans and had them wishing for a better showing.
RJ Barrett was similarly a reason fro the loss. Free throws, being one of the simplest and crucial moments of the game, need to be handled, and Barrett couldn’t live up to the pressure. Barrett missed a free throw he needed to make, and made a free throw that needed to be missed.
Coach Krzyzewski is 100% frustrated with the loss, but is somewhat used to this. He is likely already preparing for next year with the losses of star players Williamson, Reddish, and Barrett.