Tennesse Defeats Duke & advance to sweet 16 after 13 point win
Tennessee put on a dominant performance against Duke on Sunday, advancing to the Sweet 16 after beating the No. 2 overall seed 62-53. The Volunteers put on a gritty and physical display, “bringing Duke into the mud,” as Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes described it in the post-game press conference.
The Blue Devils came into the matchup as the heavy favorites, with a stacked roster featuring the likes of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish. However, Tennessee refused to back down, playing with intensity and tenacity from the opening tip. The Volunteers overcame a 12-point deficit in the first half and held the Blue Devils to just 37 percent shooting from the field.
Tennessee’s defense was the key to their victory, with the team’s physical play disrupting Duke’s offensive flow. The Volunteers forced 18 turnovers and held Williamson, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft, to just 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Admiral Schofield led Tennessee with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Grant Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
After the game, Barnes praised his team’s resilience and toughness, stating that “It’s not about what you say, it’s about how you play.” The Volunteers certainly backed up their coach’s words, out-rebounding Duke 39-29 and dominating the paint with a 36-26 advantage in points.
With this win, Tennessee advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014, and they will face Purdue in the next round. The Volunteers have proven that they can h