SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- After Rashad Anderson breathed life into Connecticut, the Huskies found a way to fight back.
Anderson's 3-pointer triggered a huge game-ending surge that rallied the Huskies to a thrilling 79-78 victory over Duke in the national semifinals.
The Huskies, who have won four straight over Duke, will meet Georgia Tech on Monday in search of their second national title. The Yellow Jackets defeated UConn in November.
Duke (31-6) seemed poised to advance to its eighth national championship game under coach Mike Krzyzewski after Chris Duhon's two foul shots made it 75-67 with 3:28 left. But the Blue Devils did not score again until the final buzzer.
Anderson's 3-pointer at the 2:40 mark cut the deficit to five points and Ben Gordon made two free throws 33 seconds later for Connecticut (32-6).
"We just really put it together, refused to lose," Anderson said. "I would be lying if I said I didn't think about losing the game. Every player, when you get down in the last 2 1/2 minutes, it's in the back of your mind."
"It's a three-possession lead, a three knocks it down to five points," Krzyzewski said. "That's why Anderson's (shot) was so big."
Emeka Okafor, in foul trouble the entire first half, added back-to-back baskets to give the Huskies their first lead of the second half. Okafor's second score occurred when he fought off a pair of Blue Devils to put home his own miss for a 76-75 lead with 26 seconds to play.
The Blue Devils, who sputtered with big men Shelden Williams and Shavlik Randolph having fouled out, had one last chance for the lead. After Krzyzewski called his last timeout, Duke went to J.J. Redick, who drove and had the ball stripped from his hands by Anderson and Okafor.
"J.J. made a great play, I thought," Krzyzewski said. "You're either trying to score or get fouled or both. We didn't get any."
Anderson, who was fouled when he came up with the loose ball, made two foul shots with 11 seconds to go. Duke again went to Redick on its next possession, but the sharp-shooter's 3-pointer was short with three seconds left.
Okafor made 1-of-2 free throws to render Duhon's banked 3-pointer at the buzzer meaningless.
"We made six straight stops," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "Played incredible defense. I couldn't be more proud of our team."
Duke bounced back from an early 15-4 hole to lead by as many as 10 points in the first half, settling for a 41-34 edge at intermission. Okafor had a pair of fouls in the first four minutes, sat down and did not score until after the break.
But the All-American center displayed his mettle by scoring 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Okafor also became too much to handle for Williams and Randolph, who each drew fifth fouls. Williams finished with four points on 1-of-9 shooting in 19 minutes.
"It was pretty draining," Okafor said. "You know, you have a whole lot of ups and downs. I mean, it's easy to look up at the clock, you know, see yourself down by eight with like next to nothing on the clock seemingly and just give up. It's hard to believe you can do it and put the effort to actually make it happen."
Ben Gordon also netted 18 points for the Huskies, who shot 62.5 percent (15-of-24) in the second half to overcome 18 turnovers.