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Duke rolls to 7th straight Sweet 16

3/20/2004

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- To J.J. Redick, the hoop looked as big as,
say, the Georgia Dome. Because of that, Redick and his Duke
teammates will be heading there next.

The Blue Devils guard, missing his shooting touch for much of
the past month, scored 21 points Saturday to lead Duke to a 90-62
victory over Seton Hall in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Duke (29-5) came into the tournament as a top seed, but with a
little bit of an asterisk, in part because of Redick's struggles of
late. He shot only 34 percent over the nine games leading into the
tournament and the Blue Devils lost three times.

But the team's leading scorer this season found his rhythm in
the second half of Duke's opening win against Alabama State, and he
kept it going against the eighth-seeded Pirates (21-10). He made
his first four shots -- his first nine if you count his five
straight free throws -- and wound up 6-for-10, and 7-for-7 from the
line.

"I kind of moved on from everything," Redick said of the
turnaround.

He wasn't the only one who couldn't seem to miss.

Luol Deng went 6-for-9 for 20 points and Shavlik Randolph went
4-for-5 for eight points. Shelden Williams finished with 13 points
and 11 rebounds. Overall, the Blue Devils shot 54 percent, although
Redick's shooting percentage was certainly the number the team was
happiest about.

"It's kind of like when you have air conditioning and you start
to take it for granted," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We
lost our air for a few days. All of the sudden, it came back on and
we all felt a hell of a lot better."

Krzyzewski's team, seeking its fourth national title, advanced
to the second weekend of the tournament for the seventh straight
time. Next Friday in the Atlanta Regional semifinals at the Georgia
Dome, Duke will face either Cincinnati or Illinois, who play
Sunday.

The Pirates, coming off an energy-sapping win over Arizona late
Thursday night, saw their season end on a day in which they were
overmatched and unable to get a big game from their best player,
all-Big East guard Andre Barrett.

Earlier in the week, Krzyzewski called Barrett one of the 10
best players in the country. But Barrett spent this entire game
blanketed by Duke's Chris Duhon, whose injured ribs didn't prevent
him from playing the top-notch defense he's known for.

Barrett finished with eight points and five assists. He went
scoreless in the first half.

"They keyed in on me," he said. "I mean, a lot of teams do
that, but they really put the zoom on me, and it made it hard for
all of us."

Duhon, who hurt himself running into a stationary TV camera
during the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last weekend,
played through the pain and added nine points, six rebounds and
five assists to his nice defensive effort.

He said his ribs were sore after the game, "but it was good to
get out there and help my team get a win."

Krzyzewski was effusive about both Duhon and Redick. And while
he knows Duhon's aching ribs won't fully heal until the season's
over, he has reason to believe Redick's problems are behind him.

The sophomore's shooting touch had been a prime topic of
conversation on Tobacco Road in recent weeks. Some analysts thought
his mechanics were off. Krzyzewski insisted he was just a little
worn down from being guarded by the ACC's best defenders all
season.

Redick didn't take a shot for the first 13 minutes against
Alabama State and finished the first half 0-for-4. At halftime,
Krzyzewski urged him to shoot more -- Redick said it was one of the
rare times anyone had told him to do that -- and since then, Redick
has scored 35 points on 11-for-19 shooting.

"The players and coaches let me know they were behind me,"
Redick said. "They told me to forget about it all, and I did."

It took him 15 minutes to miss his first shot against Seton
Hall. By then, the Blue Devils were ahead 35-17.

The Pirates, making their first tournament appearance since
2000, worked the lead down to nine late in the first half, but
Redick hit a 3-pointer for a 40-28 lead just before halftime, a
shot Krzyzewski said was the turning point of the game.

Kelly Whitney and John Allen had 14 points each for the Pirates,
who clearly were spent after the tough game against Arizona.

"You need to have your `A' game against a team like Duke, and
it's tough when you come off a game like Arizona," Pirates coach
Louis Orr said.