With 9:58 left to play in Tuesday’s ranked matchup, No. 16 Louisville led No. 2 Duke 59-36. A 23-point lead with fewer than 10 minutes left? At home? That’s a wrap, right?
Not quite. Duke would outscore Louisville 35-10 in the final 9:58, with Cam Reddish hitting two free throws with 14 seconds left to beat the Cardinals 71-69.
How did @DukeMBB come back from 23 down?— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 13, 2019
Coach K "don't coach losers"pic.twitter.com/7PJrPuZQZ1
The comeback is tied as the largest against a ranked team in Division I history. The other came as No. 13 South Carolina beat No. 18 Cincinnati on Feb. 1, 1998 after trailing by 23 with 19:18 left.
It stands alone as the largest regulation comeback with 10 minutes left ever. On Feb. 20, 1993, VCU trailed South Florida by 26 (67-41) with 9:26 left, but the Rams needed overtime to win that game.
Here are some other crazy numbers from the game:
Those are the respective numbers for Duke’s field goal and 3-point percentage through the first 30 minutes of the game. The Blue Devils were 13-for-46 (28.3 percent) from the field and 3-for-19 (15.8 percent) from beyond the arc in the first three quarters of the game. They finished going 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) from the field and 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range in the final 10 minutes. Louisville, on the other hand, shot just 2-for-7 (28.6 percent) on field goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. The Cardinals had been 23-for-53 (43.4 percent) to that point.
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Louisville averaged 12.9 turnovers per game heading into Tuesday. Not a great mark, but not terrible either. In the final 9:07 of Tuesday’s game, the Cardinals had nine turnovers. Duke had zero. Louisville had two more turnovers than attempted shots in the final 10 minutes of the game.
If the turnovers weren’t enough, Louisville also fouled the Blue Devils seven times in the final 9:07. Duke went 11-13 from the line in that span, while Louisville was just 10-13 on the entire game.
WHAT— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 13, 2019
No. 2 Duke trailed by 23, but the Blue Devils STORM back & take down No. 16 Louisville on the road! pic.twitter.com/r2IzxdNoL8
1 out of 1,049
Mike Krzyzewski has coached 1,330 games at Duke. He’s won 1,049 of those. In all of them, he had never come back from this large of a deficit.
The win probability ESPN calculated in the Cardinals’ favor with 9:58 left. Even in the middle of the run, with the deficit cut to five as Louisville led 69-64 with 2:16 left, Louisville’s win probability was at 83.8 percent.
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At halftime, Zion Williamson had zero fouls. With 12:14 left in the game, he picked up his fourth. Williamson has only ever fouled out once in his 24 collegiate games — when he picked up his fifth with 3:51 left against Texas Tech. This time, Williamson played the rest of the game and tallied 11 points, four rebounds, three steals, one block, and zero fouls. It was Williamson who picked up the final defensive rebound with three seconds left to seal the game.