Duke stuns Louisville in biggest comeback of Coach K’s career

Duke climbs back from 23 down, stuns Louisville on eve of Coach K's 72nd birthday

Duke stuns Louisville in biggest comeback of Coach K’s career

For some more historical context, this comeback effort from Duke was the largest second half deficit overcome by a team with less than 10 minutes to go in NCAA basketball history (hat tip to the NCAA for the historical data) without overtime.

Coach K told reporters after the game he didn't necessarily believe the optimistic words he conveyed to his players during the second half.

The Blue Devils then proceeded to outscore the Cardinals 35-10 over the remainder of the game to secure the largest second-half comeback win of Coach K's 39-year career at Duke.

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Looking exhausted and beaten while trailing Louisville by 23 points, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told his players they would win the game. "At that point, I may have been telling them a lie". "I was positive, but I don't know, belief". Reddish drained both free throws to give Duke the 71-69 lead. Their kids never quit, " Louisville coach Chris Mack said. "They were playing harder than us - Louisville's a very great team - we just had to play harder than them", Williamson told ESPN after the game.

Reddish scored 16 of his 22 points after halftime and RJ Barrett added 13 for Duke, which won its eighth in a row despite shooting a season-low 37 percent from the field.

Amid the Blue Devils' historic 23-point come-from-behind victory over Louisville, Zion got tangled up with the Cardinals' Jordan Nwora in a battle of strength for the rock, which produced the following image of Williamson actually putting a dent in the ball with his fingers.

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Not only did Cam Reddish's game-winning free throws come after a charge call was reviewed and switched to a block when Ryan McMahon was determined to be inside the protected area at the time of contact, but most of the final minutes for Louisville were played with no timeouts. The stakes were considerably higher in this comeback than any other on the list, but since it was a first-half comeback that got the Blue Devils back in the game, it wasn't quite as dramatic.

Louisville had a last-second chance to tie things up, but missed the shot.

Duke improved to 22-2 (10-1 ACC) with the win, while the Cardinals dropped to 17-8 (8-4 ACC).

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Louisville hosts Clemson on Saturday.

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