Duke Blue Devils Win 2001 Final Four

The 2001 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball.

It began on March 13, 2001 with the play-in game, and ended with the championship game on April 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A total of 64 games were played.

This tournament is the first to feature 65 teams, due to the Mountain West Conference receiving an automatic bid for the first time. This change necessitated a play-in game between the #64 and #65 ranked teams, with the winner playing against a #1 seed in the first round.

Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, won the national title with a 82-72 victory in the final game over Arizona, coached by Lute Olson. Shane Battier of Duke was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Final Four

At Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota

National Semifinals

March 31, 2001
Duke (E1) 95, Maryland (W3) 84

The fourth meeting of the year between rivals Duke and Maryland turned into a classic. Maryland jumped out of the gate to an early 39-17 lead. It appeared the Terps would eliminate Duke, led by senior Shane Battier. However, Duke was able to cut the lead at halftime to 49-38. Duke would take its first lead when Jason Williams drained a three to give Duke the lead 73-72 with 6:48 to play. Duke closed the game with a 23-12 run to stun Gary Williams' Maryland squad. The officiating in the game has lead to much controversy between Maryland and Duke fans, with Maryland fans, as well as many other fans of the game believing that Duke has an unfair advantage when playing in close games. CBS analyst Bryant Gumble called the game one of the worst officiated games he had witnessed, although Duke only shot 8 more free throws than Maryland.

Arizona (M2) 80, Michigan State (S1) 61

In an emotional season in which coach Lute Olson suffered the loss of his wife, he would be just 40 minutes away from a second National Championship after his Wildcats destroyed the defending national champion Michigan State Spartans. The game was close at halftime with Arizona leading by just 2. However, Arizona outscored Michigan State 48-31 in the 2nd Half en route to the 19-point victory.

Championship Game
April 2, 2001
Duke (E1) 82, Arizona (M2) 72

The second-ranked team coming into the NCAA Tournament would leave giving coach Mike Krzyzewski his third National Championship at Duke University. Arizona cut Duke's lead to 39-37 early in the 2nd half, but Mike Dunleavy Jr. connected on 3 three-pointers during an 11–2 Duke run. Dunleavy Jr. led the Duke Blue Devils with 21 points, including 18 points in the 2nd half. The Arizona Wildcats did not quit as they would get within 3 four times, including twice inside the four minute TV Timeout. However, Shane Battier proved to be too much as he hit two critical buckets to keep the Blue Devils comfortably ahead. Then, Jason Williams, despite a poor shooting night, iced the game with a three-pointer from the top of the key with about 2 minutes left to give Duke an eight point lead. Battier scored 18 points and added 11 rebounds and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player (MOP).

Duke won't be denied

Blue Devils rally from 22-point deficit to top Maryland

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Duke was down by 22 points and head coach Mike Krzyzewski didn't mince words.

"You're losing by so much, you can't play any worse," he told the top-ranked Blue Devils during a timeout. "So what are you worried about, losing by 40?"

Duke turned things around in a record way, digging itself out of its biggest hole of the season and into another NCAA championship game in a dome that's been a lucky home.

The Blue Devils rallied yet again against Maryland, this time for a 95-84 victory Saturday night and a chance at another national championship in the Metrodome.

Blue Devils take home another NCAA title

By Mike Lopresti, Gannett News Service

MINNEAPOLIS — Shane Battier went out a national champion. But who knows how many more times Mike Krzyzewski will be back? The Age of Duke added more gold Monday night, led by the unexpected firepower of Mike Dunleavy and the mighty 40-minute will of Battier to an 82-72 victory over Arizona in the NCAA title game. In an often frenetic battle where easy shots were hard to find, play after play had to be made and no lead seemed safe. Jason Williams shot 5-for-15, yet Duke somehow managed. Dunleavy's 21 points were the decisive weapon, and Battier's three late baskets were the final life raft.