CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Daniel Ewing weathered the storm and delivered Mike Krzyzewski into the record books.
Ewing scored nine of his 22 points down the stretch to key a late rally as top-seeded Duke advanced to the semifinals in the Austin Region with a 63-55 victory over ninth-seeded Mississippi State.
The senior guard's effort was instrumental in the Blue Devils' coach Krzyzewski's recording his 66th career win in the NCAA Tournament, breaking the record he shared with North Carolina legend and former rival Dean Smith.
"It took an amazing effort. Our senior was the best player on the court tonight," said Krzyzewski, who has accomplished the feat in 21 tournament appearances. "Daniel Ewing was sensational. To get 22 points in this game tonight, it means a lot."
Smith's fans were in abundance as North Carolina defeated Iowa State in the first game here and many of them stuck around to cheer on the Bulldogs.
They had plenty to get excited about after Mississippi State erased an eight-point halftime deficit and took a 43-42 lead on a layup by Ontario Harper with 10:52 remaining.
Ewing buried a 3-pointer just over two minutes later and Shelden Williams gave Duke (27-5) the lead for good, 53-50, on a three-point play with 4:25 to go.
The Bulldogs (23-11) got within 55-53 and had the ball inside of two minutes but J.J. Redick made a steal. He had his layup blocked but Ewing was right there for a follow shot and a four-point edge with 1:43 left.
Lawrence Roberts had a dunk to get the Bulldogs within a basket with 90 seconds left but Ewing answered with a runner off the glass and made two of the Blue Devils' four free throws in the final minute to seal their eighth straight Sweet 16 berth, tops in the nation.
Duke will face Michigan State, a team it defeated November 30, in the regional semifinals Friday in Austin, Texas.
"It was a great game, both teams put forth a winning effort," Ewing said. "Unfortunately only one team could win, but I'm glad it was us."
"Ewing is the guy that really hurt us down the stretch," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "They're like a three-headed snake (with Redick and Williams). It seems like every big play that had to be made down the stretch, Duke made those plays."
Winsome Frazier, who scored seven points on 2-of-10 shooting, hounded Redick much of the game, forcing Duke's leading scorer into 5-of-17 shooting and five turnovers.
"It's very difficult to be in a situation where every game you're going to get the other team's best defender," Redick said. "You have to prepare for that and that's what I've done all year."
Despite his struggles, Redick found a way to be a factor down the stretch. In addition to his big steal, he had five big points midway through the second half when Mississippi State was making its run. His 3-pointer with 10:31 to go put the Blue Devils ahead, 45-43, and was Duke's first basket in nearly five minutes.
Roberts, playing the final game of a stellar collegiate career, and Harper scored 17 points apiece for Mississippi State, which shot just 28 percent (9-of-32) in the first half.
Roberts battled with Williams most of the game, pitting two of the better big men in the tournament against one another.
"It was two guys going at it," Roberts said. "Simply put, we both went at it knowing that one of us was going home."
Williams finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks and managed to avoid foul trouble after picking up a third less than three minutes into the second.
He was just one of a handful of Blue Devils in foul trouble at one time or another, but the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize, making just 11-of-21 free throws.
"We're very disappointed every time we lose a basketball game," Stansbury said. "We had our opportunities - missed free throws, missed layups. That's part of the basketball game."
Behind Ewing's 11 points and a suffocating defense, Duke controlled much of the first half and took a 30-22 lead into the break.
After Marcus Campbell's dunk gave the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead less than seven minutes in, the Blue Devils' defense kicked in, holding their opponents scoreless for the next four minutes and with just one basket over a stretch of nearly nine minutes.
Harper broke that drought with a 3-pointer with 4:45 to go and scored Mississippi State's final eight points of the half, matching Ewing's total over the same span.