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Duke's Quinn Cook (center) passes the ball to Mason Plumlee (right) as Albany's Sam Rowley (left) defends Friday in Philadelphia.
Friday, March 22, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - Duke had been hearing about Lehigh for a year.
The second-seeded Blue Devils used the perimeter shooting of Seth Curry and the inside dominance of Mason Plumlee to put last season's NCAA tournament upset to rest, beating Albany 73-61 on Friday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
It was in the same round - and with the same seeding - that Duke was shocked by Lehigh last March.
"Doesn't really matter to us what people are talking about," Plumlee said. "We're very confident. I thought it was a good win today, and we're just focused on us."
It may not have been a blowout against 15th-seeded Albany, but the Blue Devils (28-5) held a comfortable lead throughout and will play seventh-seeded Creighton, which beat Cincinnati 67-63, in the third round Sunday.
"We're excited about this one and we're excited to be able to play in the third round," said Duke forward Ryan Kelly, who missed the Lehigh game because of injury.
Curry scored 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, and Plumlee was 9 of 11 - including six dunks - for 23 points.
"These two guys really came through for us," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Quinn Cook had 11 assists - many on lob passes inside to Plumlee - and Duke shot 58.7 percent (27 of 46), just off its season-best 60.8 percent against Florida State.
"He was really good. Passing the ball, that's as well as he's played in a while," Plumlee said. "That gets guys going, and it's really hard to guard a passer. I thought he played great and just made life easier for everybody else offensively."
The Blue Devils, who lost 75-70 to 15th-seeded Lehigh in the second round last year, never really pulled away from the Great Danes (24-11), who got as close as eight points with 4:40 to play.
"They're Duke for a reason. They're good for a reason. They have great players all around you," said Albany guard Jacob Iati, who finished with 15 points. "They play in big games all season long and their whole careers every game is like that for them. For us, it's like the game of a lifetime; for them, it's just another day in the park.
"But I thought we battled. We played to win the game. We didn't think we were just coming here to play Duke and go home."
Cincinnati 67, Creighton 63
PHILADELPHIA - Doug McDermott can put his decision on hold about whether to stay at Creighton or leave.
McDermott had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Gregory Echenique scored 13 points to help Creighton hold on to beat Cincinnati in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
Ethan Wragge added 12 for the Bluejays, who won their NCAA tournament opener for the second straight year.
McDermott, the two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and 2012 All-American, made all 11 free throws to help the seventh-seeded Bluejays (28-7) move on to play Duke on Sunday.
Colorado State 84, Missouri 72
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State used good shooting and great rebounding to run away from No. 9 Missouri in the NCAA tournament.
Green, who went scoreless with five turnovers in last year's second-round upset to Murray State, did much better this time as the Rams shot nearly 58 percent in the first half.
Minnesota transfer and Rams big man Colton Iverson outrebounded Missouri by himself through 27 minutes and finished with 13 boards.
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