UCF lost a 74-70 lead with two minutes remaining on a game-winning layup from Duke freshman R.J. Barrett.
UCF battled Duke within one point on Sunday night as the Blue Devils escaped with a 77-76 win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tacko Fall and the Knights held a 74-70 lead with two minutes remaining, but couldnt close the door on Zion Williamson and Co.
Knights head coach Johnny Dawkins addressed his team in UCF’s locker room postgame. After a heartbreaking defeat, Dawkins provided some words of wisdom, comforting his team after a valient effort.
“We end in tears. That’s because we invested so much in each other,” Dawkins told the Knights. “I love you guys. It’s been amazing coaching this group, and for us, we got a lot of good memories, we accomplished a lot of amazing things this year.”
Dawkins played for Duke from 1982-86 and spent 10 seasons on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff. Krzyzewski was emotional when discussing Duke’s win over Dawkins and UCF postgame.
“I’ve been unlucky in the tournament, I’ve been lucky. I feel bad for Johnny. I’m emotional about it because I love him,” Krzyzewski said.
UCF won its first NCAA tournament game in program history on Friday. The Knights last made the tournament in 2005 before this year.