Like dropping your phone face down on the concrete and it not cracking, or randomly finding $100 bill. If you told your grandmother about these serendipitous occasions she may say “you must be living right.” Well…someone on the Duke basketball team must be living right, because Duke escaped near elimination twice in the this year’s NCAA Tournament.
All signs pointed to huge upset and early 2nd round exit for the Blue Devils when UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins got an offensive rebound and game-winning tip attempt. The ball kissed around the rim before finally falling out and into the hands of RJ Barrett as time expired off the clock.
Luck was on the Blue Devils side again in the Sweet 16 as Virginia Tech executed the perfect inbound play down two points with 1.1 seconds on the clock. Tech’s Ahmad Hill caught the ball in the perfect spot to tip it in. Instead the ball rolled off the back of the rim and the Blue Devils would be spared an extra five minutes of play.
“You know, Hill kind of did a loop,” Zion said after the game. “And I’m not even going to lie to you, when he caught it, I said, ah, we’re about to go to overtime. I mean I don’t know what happened. Like just kind of went our way with that play.”
What are the odds that this type of favor would strike not once, but twice? Is it a destiny-guided force that’s blowing the ball ever so slightly in the Blue Devils favor?
“Well, I hope that’s the case,” Coach K said after the 75-73 victory. “But I don’t really believe that. I believe that we just play hard and you stay resilient and play until the end. We’ve had balls roll off, too. We got eliminated from the Final Four last year with that. So the game is a great game. And it has amazing endings. And the last two endings for us have been for us.”
Once is a coincidence, but twice?…Somebody living right. That kind of favor isn’t afforded to everyone.
The Blue Devils continue their Final Four pursuit Sunday against Michigan State at 5:05pm.