2001 NCAA Men's Tourney
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Championship Notebook

Duke falls one 3-pointer short of NCAA tourney record

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Posted: Tuesday April 03, 2001 12:01 AM
Updated: Tuesday April 03, 2001 12:28 AM

  Jason Williams Jason Williams scored 16 points, boosting his season total to 840 and breaking a 50-year-old Duke single-season record. AP

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Duke took the same route to a national title that it had throughout the NCAA tournament -- with 3-pointers.

The Blue Devils were 9-of-27 from long range, but they made them when they were most needed in the 82-72 victory over Arizona for the NCAA title Monday night.

"Jason [Williams], after making a bad play, makes a 3," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. [Mike] Dunleavy makes three 3s in a row.

"We did tough things. We're deserving of this."

Dunleavy, held to three points in the first half, was left open on three consecutive plays, boosting the Blue Devils' lead to 49-39 with 16:16 remaining.

"It's about time I finally made my shots in the second half," Dunleavy said. "It gave us a boost."

The Blue Devils fell one 3-pointer short of breaking the NCAA single-tournament record of 60, set by Arkansas in 1995.

Williams scored 16 points, boosting his season total to 840 and breaking a 50-year-old Duke single-season scoring record. Dick Groat scored 831 points during the 1950-51 season.

Duke's Shane Battier, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds, was selected the most outstanding player of the Final Four. Dunleavy and Williams were selected to the first team from Duke, along with Arizona's Richard Jefferson and Loren Woods.

Moving mothers

A couple of mama's boys led Duke and Arizona to the national championship game.

Arizona's Jason Gardner and Duke's Chris Duhon might have left their homes to attend college, but their mothers followed them to their campuses.

Stephanie Gardner moved from Indianapolis. Duhon's mother, Vivian Harper, moved to North Carolina from Slidell, La.

Jason Gardner, the Wildcats' starting point guard, was used to having family at games and asked his mother to move to Tucson.

"Move to Arizona? I said, 'No,'" she recalled before Monday night's game. "I'm not moving to Arizona."

Stephanie Gardner reconsidered and moved there without a job, though she eventually found work again as a social worker.

Star power

A large contingent of NBA stars from Arizona and Duke were in attendance. Damon Stoudamire, Jason Terry and Khalid Reeves sat near NCAA president Cedric Dempsey, a former Arizona athletic director.

Elton Brand of the Chicago Bulls was among the Duke fans in attendance. Brand would have been a senior for the Blue Devils, but left after his sophomore season.

According to an Arizona spokesman, former Wildcats Sean Elliott and Steve Kerr and former Blue Devil Danny Ferry -- who now play for the San Antonio Spurs -- attempted to charter a jet for the game but couldn't get out.

John Wooden, who won 10 national titles as coach at UCLA, also attended.

Cowboy courage

Oklahoma State received the Most Courageous Award from the United States Basketball Writers Association in honor of the 10 members of the OSU program who died Jan. 27 in a plane crash.

Coach Eddie Sutton, who accepted the award, called each of the victims' families. The basketball team resumed its season 10 days after the crash.

"I wasn't sure two or three days afterward whether we could play or not," Sutton said. "The guys were like zombies. Finally, we did.

"The thing I tried to drive through to them is that we have to appreciate the good times we had with these guys. Life is so precious. Give thanks for every day we have. That's the one good thing that came out of it."

Record run

Duke set an NCAA record by winning its 133rd game over a four-year period. The Blue Devils (133-15) broke the record set by Kentucky from 1995-98 and 1996-99.

Shane Battier, who played in 131 of the victories, tied an NCAA record for a four-year period set by Kentucky's Wayne Turner. Fellow Duke senior Nate James redshirted the 1997-98 season and has a different record.

Duke is the first team to be seeded No. 1 over four consecutive seasons since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979.

Giant killers crumble

Arizona had defeated five top-seeded opponents in a row in NCAA tournament play before losing to the top-seeded Blue Devils. The last time the Wildcats lost to a No. 1 seed was to Arkansas in the 1994 national semifinals.

Arizona became the only team in NCAA history to defeat three No. 1 seeds while winning the 1997 title. The Wildcats defeated Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky to win that championship.

This season, the Wildcats were coming off victories over No. 1 seeds Illinois and Michigan State.


 
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