INDIANAPOLIS – Seth Curry shot Duke right into the regional finals – and put Mike Krzyzewski on the verge of another milestone.
Curry scored 29 points and the Blue Devils beat Michigan State 71-61 on Friday night to advance to the Midwest Regional final in the NCAA tournament.
“Seth was just at a different level than anyone else on the court offensively tonight,” Krzyzewski said. “To get 29 points in a game like this against a good team is just incredible.”
If No. 2 seed Duke (30-5) beats top-seeded Louisville (32-5) in Sunday’s regional final, Krzyzewski would tie John Wooden’s record with 12 Final Four trips.
Third-seeded Michigan State (27-9) just couldn’t keep up with Curry and Duke’s shooters. Keith Appling had 16 points for the Spartans, and Adreian Payne finished with 14.
Curry’s sixth 3-pointer of the game broke a 38-38 tie early in the second half, sending Duke on a 9-0 run. It also matched the school record for most 3s in an NCAA tourney game, most recently accomplished by Jason Williams on March 22, 2001, against UCLA.
The Blue Devils never trailed again.
Rasheed Sulaimon had 16 points and Mason Plumlee finished with 14 for Duke.
But the night belonged to Curry. He scored 14 in the first half. When he hit his third 3 of the second half with 17:10 left, Duke took off.
“I was just trying to set up my cuts a little better,” Curry said of the opening part of the second half. “The guys were setting screens a little better, so I credit my teammates to get me open.”
The Blue Devils finally broke open the back-and-forth game by scoring five straight points midway through the second half, extending the lead to 56-46.
“They’re a good team, they played well, Curry hurt us, no question about it,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said. “We didn’t quit, we hung in there. I thought we played poorly for us, but the better team won tonight.”