When the NCAA tournament brackets were released two weeks ago, college basketball prognosticators all said the potential Duke-LSU match-up would come down to athleticism and stopping super scorer J.J. Redick. It did. The SEC school stifled the No. 1 seed in a 62-54 win in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night in Atlanta.
LSU relied on a pair of under recruited redshirt freshmen, Garrett Temple and Tyrus Thomas, to stop the Blue Devils and particularly Redick, who finished with a season low 11 points on 3-19 shooting.
Thomas was hand cuffed with four fouls late in the second half but absolutely shined in the final 43 seconds of play. He sunk in a pair of free throws with 43 seconds to play and gave LSU a 55-52 lead that stuck until the final buzzer.
Then came a dunk that will be replayed all weekend on an offensive rebound put back at 34 seconds and his fifth game-changing block on a driving Greg Paulus with 26 seconds.
Four free throws and a pair of offensive rebounds from Glen Davis helped seal the victory in the end.
Shelden Williams was the only shining star for Duke with a team high 23 points and 11 rebounds.
LSU's defense kept Duke in check to a tune of 27.7 percent (18-65) shooting from the floor and 5-24 (20.8 percent) from three.