It was far from pretty.
But all that matters is advancing.
Second-seeded Duke played some stifling defense and made enough shots to dispatch No. 7 Creighton, 66-50, in the nightcap Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Blue Devils improved to 6-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia and moved on to face Michigan State in the Sweet 16.
This may not be a prototypical Duke team. It is a very good Duke team, one of only 16 remaining throughout the country.
“We don’t worry about what people think of us or how they view us,” said freshman forward Amile Jefferson, a former star at Friends Central who pondered Villanova as his college choice before heading for Durham, N.C. “We just play the next game and we’ve been doing that all season. It has worked and we’re moving on to the next round.”
Duke had played 34 games with just five losses. That’s stellar no matter what.
“We’re focused and the coaches make sure of that every day,” said guard Quinn Cook. “We stay within our family and stay locked in one game at a time. It’s cliché but it works. We’re in the Sweet 16.”