VIDEO: Duke Beats Kansas for Maui Invitational Title
By Fred Guzman
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3t4yJlMRTg /] Duke’s run of perfection continued on Maui. But it wasn’t easy.
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils improved their record on the Valley Isle to 15-0 by defeating No. 14 Michigan 68-61 on Wednesday night, lifting the championship trophy for a record fifth time in the EA Sports Maui Invitational before an overflow crowd at the Lahaina Civic Center.
For all the talent on the court, it was unheralded Tyler Thornton who emerged as the hero of a game featuring 12 ties and 12 lead changes. Thornton buried a pair of three-point shots from well behind the arc in the final 70 seconds to secure the victory.
Thanks to Thornton’s clutch baskets, the Blue Devils will return home to North Carolina with a 7-0 record this season and another MIT trophy to go along with the ones they previously won in 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2007.
Mason Plumlee had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead Duke, who also received 17 points from tournament MVP Ryan Kelly. Kansas got 17 points from Tyshawn Taylor as well as 16 points and 15 rebounds from the relentless Thomas Robinson.
In the third-place game, No. 15 Michigan cruised to a 79-63 win over UCLA as Zack Novak scored 22 and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20. UCLA, which was ranked No. 20 in the pre-season polls, plunged to 1-4 for the season.
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oMNqI3QmZo /] In the fifth-place game, Georgetown went overtime to post a 91-88 upset victory over No. 8 Memphis. Jason Clark led the Hoyas with 26 points.
Tennessee finally got a win in the tournament by trouncing tournament host Chaminade 86-60 for seventh place behind guard Jordan McRae’s 25 points.
Rounding out the all-tournament team were Georgetown’s Jason Clark, Duke’s Austin Rivers, Hardaway and Robinson.