NCAA Tournament Live Blog: Duke Bests Baylor to Reach Final Four

NCAA Tournament Live Blog: Duke Bests Baylor to Reach Final Four End of game, Duke wins 78-71: Duke will not have it easy in the next round as it will have to face a very tough West Virginia squad that just upset Kentucky. One good thing for Duke is that West Virginia, like Baylor, loves to play zone, so the Blue Devils will be used to it.

For Duke, several players had great games, but no one played better than Nolan Smith. His 29 points and his ability to penetrate Baylor's zone were huge factors in Duke's victory.

End of game, Duke wins 78-71: Duke is in the Final Four, becoming the only No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four this season. With Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith providing steady play, this Duke team is going to tough to beat.

Baylor's Ekpe Udoh had a monster game in a losing effort. He finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

Second half, 0:30, Duke 74-66: Baylor is going to try to stretch this one out, which is all it can do. But Duke should be celebrating in just a few moments.

Second half, 0:40, Duke 74-64: In any event, it looks like Duke is going to be the only No. 1 seed to advance to the Final Four. As long as it can hit free throws, it will be all set.

Second half, 0:47, Duke 72-64: I am still in shock by that technical. I completely agree that Acy's actions were unnecessary, but I would not have called a technical.

Second half, 1:19, Duke 72-62: Wow, I cannot believe a technical was called on Baylor's Quincy Acy. He had no need to bump Scheyer, but I do not think that warranted a technical.

Second half, 1:19, Duke 70-62: I know the refs are just trying to keep everything in check, but this is a really long wait. Let's just play some ball.

Second half, 1:19, Duke 70-62: Lance Thomas: He is not a scorer, but he is a very valuable player who does a little bit of everything. His flush plus-one was huge. Duke is now up eight with some great free throw shooters.

Second half, 1:48, Duke 67-62: You cannot miss free throws when you are trying to come from behind.

Second half, 2:18, Duke 67-61: Zoubek fouls out, but he gave Duke several quality minutes while playing with four fouls.

Second half, 2:34, Duke 67-61: Scheyer hits another trey. He is a very confident shooter and he appears to be feeling it.

Second half, 2:46, Duke 64-61: Duke does it again. It gets an offensive board that results in an open 3-pointer. This time is was Scheyer knocking down the jumper.

Second half, 3:36, Baylor 61-60: Duke is in the double-bonus for the last few minutes. Baylor would be smart to not put Jon Scheyer or Nolan Smith on the line with a silly foul.

Second half, 3:36, Baylor 61-60: Ekpe Udoh is doing work. The Baylor big man now has 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and five blocks. He has played terrific on both ends of the floor.

Second half, 4:10, Duke 60-59: Nolan Smith is coming up huge for Duke. He has been it's most productive player in this one.

Second half, 4:10, Duke 60-59: Ekpe Udoh with another block, his fifth. Duke continues to get second looks because of it's offensive rebounding.

Second half, 6:38, Duke 54-53: Both teams are battling for every rebound like it is life or death. I love the effort level.

Second half, 7:45, 53-53: Kyle Singler is having a tough game. He is 0-for-9 from the floor and has not done much of anything positive on the offensive end.

Second half, 8:10, 53-53: Duke is doing a great job of attacking Baylor's zone with the dribble.

Second half, 9:30, 51-51: For two teams that have never met before today, Duke and Baylor are certainly fighting like old rivals.

Second half, 9:39, 51-51: Ekpe Udoh is getting it done on both ends. He had a nice block of Zoubek, followed by a great drive to the bucket. Udoh is filling up the stat sheet. He has 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks.

Second half, 10:19, Duke 51-49: Zoubek is back on the floor with four fouls. I guess there is no sense in keeping him on the bench. The Blue Devils are better with fresh bodies.

Second half, 11:17, Duke 49-47: Nolan Smith is doing a great job of attacking the middle of this Baylor zone with the dribble.

Second half, 11:45, Duke 49-47: Baylor is not going to go away, but Duke is doing a good job of countering the Bears' size with a group effort. Five Blue Devils have four or more rebounds so far.

Second half, 12:02, Duke 49-47: That camera angle had shown a great view of how Duke is trying to attack this zone. I usually do not like odd camera angles, but I thought that one was good.

Second half, 13:09, Duke 49-46: Foul trouble for both of the centers. Brian Zoubek and Josh Lomers both have four fouls.

Second half, 13:56, Duke 49-46: Duke is very unselfish, which is a big help when playing against a zone defense. Scheyer just threw a nice pass for an easy look, when he could have taken a 3-pointer.

Second half, 15:15, Duke 47-46: So far there are two No. 5 seeds and one No. 2 seed headed to Indianapolis. Will Duke become the only No. 1 seed to join them?

Second half, 15:53, Duke 45-44: There is some great back-and-forth action to begin the second half. For Duke, Jon Scheyer now has 12 points on only four shot attempts. Scheyer is not a great player (although some would disagree), but he is a very effective player. He scores points without jacking up a ton of shots.

Second half, 16:15, Duke 45-44: The fouls are starting to pile up for Baylor. It already has four in the second half. Duke is not a team you want to put on the line.

Second half, 17:27, Baylor 44-41: LaceDarius Dunn appears to be too quick for Singler, who is having a very difficult time keeping Dunn in front of him.

Second half, 17:55, Baylor 42-41: You can see that Baylor wants to get out and run, but why is Josh Lomers fouling Jon Scheyer on a 3-point attempt?

Second half, 18:45, Baylor 39-37: Ekpe Udoh with a ferocious throw-down on a missed shot.

Second half, 19:53, Baylor 35-32: Duke and Baylor are underway in the second half. Duke must find a way to score against Baylor's zone, like it did during the beginning of the first half. The Blue Devils must also protect the ball better.

End of first half, Baylor 35-32: Usually, once a team figures out how to attack a zone defense, it's time to change it up. But Baylor stuck with it's 1-3-1 and it started to give Duke some real problems near the end of the first half. Duke had seven turnovers during the first half, but many of those were live ball giveaways that resulted in good looks and easy baskets for the Bears. At the half, Baylor leads in fast-break points 9-0.

Nolan Smith and LaceDarius Dunn were the stars of the first half. Smith has 12 points, including two 3's and several strong drive to the hole. Dunn has 13 points and two steals.

End of first half, Baylor 35-32: I forget how close Baylor was to Houston until the end of the first half, when the crowd exploded during Baylor's impressive run.

First half, 0:43, Baylor 35-29: Baylor is ending this half very well. It has an extra hop in it's step.

First half, 1:53, Baylor 30-29: Baylor is on a 12-4 run. It's zone is starting to bother Duke.

First half, 2:18, Duke 29-28: Great steal by Dunn, and he knows what to do with it. You cannot hold the ball against a zone. Dunn now has 13 points for Baylor.

First half, 3:03, Duke 29-26: Mason Plumlee with a nice finish. He has a bright future for the Blue Devils. Zoubek just picked up his third foul. He does not score much, but Duke will miss his size down low if he cannot stay on the floor.

First half, 3:42, Duke 27-25: Kyle Singler has not found the range early. He is 0-for-5 from the floor, including 0-for-3 from 3-point land. I'm pretty sure all three of his 3-point attempts were wide open looks.

First half, 3:42, Duke 27-25: Duke went on an 11-4 run, but Baylor has answered with a 7-2 run of it's own.

First half, 4:52, Duke 27-25: Both teams are really working hard on the offensive glass. You need to put a body on someone when a shot goes up.

First half, 5:58, Duke 25-22: Baylor with a loud basket on an alley-oop from Tweety Carter to LaceDarius Dunn.

First half, 7:02, Duke 25-18: Nolan Smith is playing very well early. He has 10 points and has been very active on the defensive end. Duke's only issue so far is fouling.

First half, 7:13, Duke 25-18: Duke is shooting very well early. It is 5-for-6 from behind the arc. It is showing great patience against this Baylor zone.

First half, 8:19, Duke 22-18: Duke is tearing this zone apart. Baylor may have to play some man-to-man to shake things up.

First half, 9:23, Duke 20-16: Nolan Smith has improved so much over his three seasons at Duke. The Blue Devils are doing a great job against Baylor's zone.

First half, 10:11, Duke 17-14: Kyle Singler is back on the floor for Duke. That is risky, with how tight this game has been called so far.

First half, 11:24, 14-14: I can't believe no No. 1 seed has made the Final Four yet. Will Duke make it?

First half, 11:32, Duke 14-13: Now Zoubek has a pair of fouls. This game is being played very physical down low, so the big fellas are going to have to be careful on both sides.

First half, 11:48, Duke 14-11: Andre Dawkins has such a beautiful shot. He is going to score a lot of points in his Duke career.

First half, 12:48, Duke 11-9: There have already been six fouls called in this game. Free throw shooting could be a major factor in this one.

First half, 13:29, 9-9: Duke is attacking Baylor's zone very effectively with both the pass and the dribble.

First half, 14:58, Baylor 7-5: Wow, that last foul was on Singler. That is two quick calls against Singler, so he will probably have to sit for a long time.

First half, 15:00, Baylor 6-5: It's early, but you can tell that Baylor does not mind banging down low. That is not a game that Duke really wants to play. The Blue Devils want to play on the perimeter and attack with it's guards.

First half, 15:18, Baylor 6-5: Duke brings the Plumlee brothers on the court. Don't be surprised if they play big minutes to counteract Baylor's athletic front line.

First half, 16:21, Baylor 6-5: Ekpe Udoh with a nice move on the baseline, throwing it down and drawing a foul on Zoubek. Brian Zoubek needs to stay out of foul trouble.

First half, 17:53, Baylor 3-2: Brian Zoubek with a strong defensive rebound. He will need to play well on the glass against a very tall Baylor front line.

First half, 18:34, Baylor 3-2: LaceDarius Dunn hits his first 3. Dunn can really shoot it. Kyle Singler has a tough matchup.

First half, 19:10, 0-0: A quick timout called by Baylor, as Tweety Carter gets trapped along the sideline. Duke is a very good defensive team and Baylor is a good offensive one.

First half, 19:52, 0-0: Duke and Baylor are underway, battling for the fourth and final spot in this year's Final Four. Baylor has yet to play a team from a BCS conference or a single-digit seed during this Tournament, so Duke will present a more formidable foe than it's recent opponents.

4:55 p.m.: Duke and Baylor are about to tipoff in Houston. I am interested to see how Duke tries to attack Baylor zone and it's long back line. The winner will face West Virginia in the Final Four.

8 a.m.: In 2005, following a terrible tragedy and cover-up involving the shooting death of a Baylor player, the NCAA banned the Baylor Bears from postseason play, and the team could only play Big 12 games. It finished 4-13 that season. My, how far it has come.

Duke is the No. 1 seed in the South Region for good reason. However, No. 1 seeds have not fared very well during this tournament. After Kentucky's loss on Saturday, Duke is the only No. 1 seed remaining, but the Blue Devils have had a relatively easy time of it during the NCAA Tournament. Duke's closest victory came against No. 4 Purdue, by 13 points. This is a veteran squad that finds a way to win close games.

Fresh off a complete annihilation of No. 10 Saint Mary's, Baylor looks to be playing its best basketball of the season. The Bears are a very long and talented team. They start three players who are 6-foot-10 or taller and play an aggressive zone. This is a different look than anything Duke has seen all season.

Duke has not been to the Final Four since 2004. Baylor has not been since the field expanded to 64 teams. Will the Blue Devils become the only No. 1 seed to advance to this year’s Final Four, or will Baylor make sure that the Final Four is No. 1-free, as was the case in 2006?

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