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Duke stops Creighton to reach Sweet 16

Duke’s Seth Curry drives against Creighton guard Andre Yates (11) and center Gregory Echenique during the first half.

MCT

Duke’s Seth Curry drives against Creighton guard Andre Yates (11) and center Gregory Echenique during the first half.

PHILADELPHIA — Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21, Seth Curry added 17 and No. 2 seed Duke held off seventh-seeded Creighton 66-50 on Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years.

A year after they lost their NCAA Tournament opener, the Blue Devils (29-5) are in the region semifinal for the 23rd time.

Mason Plumlee, Josh Hairston and Ryan Kelly battled foul trouble all game long that could have doomed the Blue Devils. Creighton (28-8) went cold and never made a serious run in the second half. Doug McDermott scored 21 but made only four baskets.

The Bluejays were knocked out in the third round by an ACC team for the second straight year.

flagrant fouls under fire: Late in a victory Friday, McDermott was swarmed by two Cincinnati defenders. Trying to escape, McDermott turned and swung his elbow upward, catching Shaquille Thomas in the face.

McDermott received a Flagrant 1 foul, which meant two free throws for Cincinnati and the ball.

McDermott's coach and father, Greg McDermott, disagreed.

"There certainly wasn't any intent with what Doug was doing. He was just trying to clear himself," Greg McDermott said.

Flagrant fouls were debated throughout the weekend.

Some calls have frustrated coaches and bogged down games with replays.

Tournament officials, though, have been pleased as they try to take out rough play.

"The game is physical and the rules we have in place to protect players' safety," said Mike Bobinski, the NCAA Tournament's selection committee chairman. "I think we've rightfully erred on the side of safety."

Duke stops Creighton to reach Sweet 16 03/24/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 1:22am]
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