Head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils are the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions beating the Wisconsin Badgers Monday night in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis 68-63. This win marks the fifth national title for Coach K as this could arguably be his best season in his career, winning the national title and eclipsing the 1,000 win mark.
The first half featured a back-and-forth matchup with both sides coming out with high intensity.
Naismith Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky battled on the low post with another standout big man in Jahlil Okafor, scoring 7 points and grabbing 7 rebounds playing all but one minute in the half. Kamisky’s aggressive moves and pressure on Okafor forced the freshman to the bench with two early fouls.
Wisconsin capitalized on the offensive glass, scoring 11 second chance points to Duke’s 4. Despite this, Duke led for the majority of the half, but a late run from the Badgers put them in front before Duke finished the half with an Amile Jefferson layup sending the teams to the locker room tied at the half for the first time in a championship game since 1988.
Wisconsin came out firing in the second half jumping out to a five point lead not even a minute and a half into the second frame.
Things continued to go Wisconsin’s way as they led by 7 with 14 minutes to go and trailed by as many as 9, the most they trailed by the entire tournament. But then, the Blue Devils caught fire.
It was Duke’s point guard play from Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen in the second half that propelled the Blue Devils to the win, as the two combined for 29 of Duke’s 37 points in the second half. Tyus Jones, who was named player of the game, scored 23 points, 19 of those coming in the second half, making all seven free throws and going 5 of 9 from the field.
What makes the Duke comeback even more impressive, is how they did it. With Okafor and Justice Winslow both on the bench with 3 fouls each, Allen and Tyus Jones found a way. It was Jones again hitting a three with 1:24 left to ice the game for the Devils and coach K. The Blue Devils ended the game on a 12-5 run.
In a valiant losing effort, Frank the Tank Kaminsky put up 21 points and had 11 rebounds, one of four Wisconsin players scoring double digits.
Duke had four players as well in double figures, led by Tyus Jones with 23, Allen with 16, Winslow with 11, and Okafor with 10 points in only 22 minutes on the floor.
Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils as they cut down the nets for the second time in five years.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports