The Duke University Blue Devils, led by its Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski won the 2015 NCAA Championship, its fifth overall. The closely fought game ended at 68 to 63, narrowly edging the University of Wiconsin Badgers which saw four freshmen Blue Devils carrying the load for Coach K.
The Game in a nutshell
The Blue Devils were led by Tyus Jones with 23 points and Grayson Allen chipping in 16. Jahlil Okafur, who was earlier voted as Freshman of the Year, added 10 points but spent most of the game?s second half riding the bench. Justise Winslow, the other star of this freshman class, scored 11.
Coach Krzyewski praised his team, saying, ?My team had great grit and determination . Our defense down the stretch was magnificent. I don?t know how you can be any better than we were down the stretch.?
Early in the first half, Duke was down nine. He pointed out, ?We were dead in the water. We were nine points down and Grayson put us on his back. And once he got us in striking distance, we just said, ?Tyus, run high ball screen and be you.? That?s great coaching, I guess.?
Jones got Duke ahead with a three pointer at the top of the key at 4:08 to go. A few minutes later, he made the game-clinching three pointer to stretch the Blue Devil lead to eight.
The Stars Speak
Jones said of his team and his coaches, ?There?s never been a moment when they doubted me. They trusted me to make a play and that?s the biggest thing about this team is never we let one another down.?
The win was the first championship of Duke since 2010, where it defeated Butler, also in Indianapolis, where this title game was held. It is also a testament to the Duke coach?s philosophy of accepting the era of the one-and-done collegiate player, an athlete spending just one year in the NCAA before moving on professionally. The prime example is Okafur, who is expected to be one of the top draft prospects for the coming NBA season.
For the defeated Badgers, they were led by National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky with 24 points. The team was on a high after it had defeated Kentucky to reach the Finals, giving ?the Wildcats unbeaten season a disappointing finish.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons contributor Roshan Yadama