WASHINGTON, DC – Duke learned in warm-ups on Friday that he'll get away with star rookie Cam Reddish, and relies on a multitude of players conquering the Virginia Tech 77-75 to become an elite Eight to arrive.
Reddish told coaches that his knee disturbed him from warming up, and Mike Krzyzewski said he would go limp. There was some discussion about whether he would play, but eventually he decided against it.
"I talked to him before the game, and he was skeptical if he wanted to play," Zion Williamson later said. "I said," If you can not go out and play, you will not let us down. "
Williamson said he could find out from Reddish's behavior that the knee was seriously bothering him, though Krzyzewski
Zion Williamson stormed into a two-handed, rattling and rousing alley-oop slam, the duke during a close duel against Virginia Tech in Virginia's biggest lead was the semi-finals of the East region.
"We've been preparing for the week with this lineup," Krzyzewski said, "and then, boom, just before the start of the game [Reddish] can not be played . "
Krzyzewski did not offer an update on Reddish's availability for Sunday State's game against Michigan State with a Final Four bid.
Reddish was in uniform, and Duke had originally listed him among the starters, but the second guard Alex O'Connell took his place in a new line-up that was announced shortly before the launch.
Reddish is a scheduled lottery run g in this year's NBA draft and entered the game with an average of 1
It's the latest in a series of injuries for Duke, including a long extra-season end without Williamson. The adversities, Krzyzewski said, have helped define this team.
"They never gave in, they were not scared all year," Krzyzewski said. "And we've played this amazing schedule and from these days on the kids are in the spotlight, so to show it and still react the way they do it's really great for these kids."
Trust has been transmitted through a series of close calls. Duke barely escaped North Carolina in the ACC tournament, and then UCF had to move up to Sweet 16 in the final second. The last game on Friday was all the more amazing when Virginia Tech had played the game.
RJ Barrett interjected:" He missed. "
And roughly summarized, there was no real explanation for how the Hokies could not make contact on the last shot, or how Duke survived despite injuries and conversations.
So maybe they are a team of fate?
"I do not really believe in that," Krzyzewski said, "I think we only play hard until the end."  Williamson agreed, though he admitted that he was more concerned about providing bulletin board material to the state of Michigan.
"I can not say that we're meant to be in the championship because that's someone will give other fuel, "says e Williamson. "So if you want more, you win."