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Kansas takes a memorable route to the Final Four with OT thriller over Duke

OMAHA, Neb. -- If ever a college basketball game deserved five more minutes, it was this one.

And topping off a string of unbelievable upsets, this increasingly unforgettable NCAA tournament delivered an overtime classic on Sunday.

Kansas 85, Duke 81.

"Epic game," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. "One of the best, if not the best, I've ever been a part of."

Blue Devils senior Grayson Allen nearly ended it before overtime. But his almost game winner as regulation expired bounced off the backboard, rolled around the rim and out.

That paved the way for the Jayhawks to pull away from Duke in overtime and punch their ticket to the Final Four in San Antonio.

"They have a storied program and so do we," Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "and I think the game showed that."

In a showdown loaded with future NBA talent, mostly on the Duke side, it was a pair of often overlooked Jayhawks who stole the show.

Malik Newman, who had just six points in the first half, exploded with 26 the rest of the way, including all 13 of Kansas' points in overtime.

Newman opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the corner and kept finding that spot. His 3 from the corner early in overtime gave the Jayhawks momentum -- before a mostly Kansas crowd -- they never relinquished.

"Coach told us to keep attacking the zone," Newman said. "From the paint, we were able to get a lot of shots in the corner."

While Newman took over the game offensively, it was teammate Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk who came up big on defense before delivering the game's biggest shot.

Due to Kansas' four-guard lineup, Mykhailiuk was tasked with guarding Marvin Bagley III on the block. Despite being 3 inches shorter than Bagley, Mykhailiuk matched him in rebounds with 10. That was a big reason why Kansas outrebounded the bigger Blue Devils 47-32 -- Duke's worst rebounding differential in the past two seasons.

Mykhailiuk also helped limit Bagley to 16 points on only nine shots.

"I thought his defense was unbelievable," Self said. "For [Bagley] to only get four offensive rebounds when we have a guard guarding him, I thought was terrific. Even though Malik scored a lot of points, I don't know that anybody had a better game than what Svi had."

In part because Mykhailiuk also delivered the game's biggest shot.

Mykhailiuk had misfired on a pair of wide-open attempts in the final four minutes of regulation, which had helped allow Duke to take a three-point lead.

After getting the ball again on the wing with 28 seconds remaining, Mykhailiuk considered kicking it to Lagerald Vick in the corner. Instead, he took one dribble, then stepped into a game-tying 3.

"Everybody told me to keep shooting," Mykhailiuk said. "I was thinking about passing it to the corner. But I think it was Wendell [Carter Jr.] who just gapped it, so I just shot the ball and it went in."

Even after Mykhailiuk's 3, Duke still had possession for a final shot in regulation. Allen ran down the clock, then drove to the elbow on Newman before getting off a clean shot. Yet after tapping off the glass, the ball rolled around the rim twice. Then rolled off the front of the rim and out.

"It came really close to going in," Allen said. "And it didn't."