No. 2 Duke rallies from 23 down, beats No. 16 Louisville

Paola Ditto
Febbraio 14, 2019

Duke hosts North Carolina State on Saturday in the lone meeting between the Tobacco Road schools.

Looking exhausted and beaten while trailing Louisville by 23 points, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told his players they would win the game.

Coach K told reporters after the game he didn't necessarily believe the optimistic words he conveyed to his players during the second half.

Duke Blue Devils' star freshman Zion Williamson had twitter going insane on Tuesday night, and it wasn't from one of his patented jaw-dropping dunks or high-flying blocks.

No. 16 Louisville was up 59-36 with just over nine minutes remaining and had a 99.9 percent chance of winning the game, according to ESPN's win probability, but Cam Reddish led the Blue Devils to their largest comeback ever under Coach K. Reddish hit a deep three to tie the game with 1:36 remaining, and made game-winning free throws with 14-seconds left after a charge call was overturned. It was a little frustrating at first. "He really stepped up for us". The Blue Devils went on a 27-7 run to get back in the game, and held on to win 98-97.

Yes, it was a hoss named Zion Williamson who made his presence known in every facet of the game down the stretch. Williamson and RJ Barrett got aggressive, and started attacking Louisville's defenders in one-on-one opportunities. That was enough to rally Duke to a comeback.

It shouldn't be lost how close Louisville came to holding on for this win. Both shots were good looks that just didn't fall, but those misses followed more than a dozen small defeats in the quest for ultimately victory over the Blue Devils.

If you add that performance to what the Blue Devils have already done this season, they have to be considered the front-runners to win the national championship, despite Tennessee actually being the No. 1 team for the last month.

With the win, Duke improves to 22-2 on the season. The collapse doesn't change anything about this team's status and the first 30 minutes should only affirm that Mack has things moving in the right direction.

Here the the eight greatest Duke comebacks under Coach K, taking into consideration strength of opponent, location, importance, and probability.

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