Jahlil Okafor’s 26 points leads No. 1 Duke into the Sweet 16

6 Comments
source: Getty Images
Getty Images

So much for that upset pick.

Jahlil Okafor was a man amongst boys on Sunday afternoon, going for 26 points, six boards and three blocks on 12-for-16 shooting as No. 1 Duke easily advanced past No. 8 San Diego State, 68-47.

Justise Winslow added 13 points, 12 boards and five assists for Duke, making plays in transition and helping to keep the bigger Aztecs from getting to the offensive glass. Quinn Cook added 15 points, hitting perhaps the biggest shot of the game. SDSU had cut a 13-point halftime lead to 44-37 and had the ball, but Duke got a stop and Tyus Jones found Cook in the corner in transition. Cook buried the three, sparking an 11-0 run that ended any chance that SDSU had of advancing.

The key for Duke on Sunday was their ability to render San Diego State’s post doubles ineffective. It started with Okafor, who was simply too good. When the Aztecs were able to get the double team, Okafor simply dribbled out of the trap, waited until he had one-on-one coverage again and proceeded to beat his man off the dribble. That’s an insane play for a 6-foot-11, 270 pound human being to make.

Duke was also able to play four-around-one thanks to Justise Winslow’s ability to hold his own on the defensive glass. SDSU likes to use big-to-big doubles on low post scorers, and Winslow’s presence on the perimeter made it difficult for them. It was further for them to go to, and they were confused at times over who was supposed to come on the double team.

But none of that matters.

The only thing that is important is that the Blue Devils are on to the Sweet 16, where they will square off with No. 5 Utah in a battle between the Coach Ks.