March Madness: Duke knocks off No. 1 Houston to reach Elite Eight after losing Cougars star Jamaal Shedd

Without Jamal Sheets, top-ranked Houston couldn't get past Duke on Friday night.

After Shead went down with a severely sprained ankle, the Blue Devils bounced back and won 54-51 in the final seconds of the Sweet 16 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. That sent Duke to its second Elite Eight in three seasons, and its first under second-year head coach John Scheuer.

Notably, it was Duke's first NCAA Tournament win in 30 years for a top seed.

Cougars struggle after losing Jamal Shedd

Sheets drove to the rim moments after the midway point of the first half, but his right ankle rolled hard as he rose up for a layup. It sent him violently to court, where he remained for some time in great agony.

He eventually tried to leave the court under his own power, but coaches helped him on his way to the locker room.

On CBS, Sheets was shown riding a scooter at halftime to get an X-ray, which came back negative. As a result, he suffered a severe ankle sprain. Although the Cougars didn't knock him out in the second half, he didn't return to the game. He finished with two points and three assists and went just 1-for-5 from the floor.

Sheets averaged 13.2 points and 6.4 assists this season for the Cougars, who won the regular season in the Big 12 after joining the conference a few months ago. They earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Sweet 16, defeating both Longwood and Texas A&M. Sheet is averaging 16 points and 9.5 assists per game.

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While Houston got off to a fast start Friday night — they jumped out to a 6-0 lead and went on a 10-3 start to force Scheer to call a timeout with less than two minutes left in the game — Duke slowly pulled away. lead to close half. The Blue Devils held Houston scoreless for six minutes at one point, and they outscored the Cougars 13-6 after Sheath left the game, while Houston missed nine of its last 11 shots of the first half.

Duke took a 23-22 lead after Houston's LJ Cryer made a layup at the buzzer that marked the Cougars' only points in the final four minutes of the period.

Houston didn't pull away in the second half. The first time Duke tried to pull away near the midway point, Ramon Walker drilled a big contested 3-pointer to cut the game back to one possession. J'Wan Roberts then sank a tough left-handed layup in the paint to cut it to one point.

But it was as close as the Cougars got. Duke shut them down offensively once again. They went more than three minutes without scoring after LJ Cryer hit a jumper at the 4:25 mark of the second half, and Jeremy Roach answered with a big fadeaway jumper from the free throw line to put the Blue Devils back up by six points. 73 seconds left.

From there, they held on and made one last big stop, sneaking away with a three-point win.

Cryer led the Cougars with 15 points while Roberts added 13 points and eight rebounds. They were the only Houston players to hit double digits. The Cougars shot just 2-of-8 from behind the arc.

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Kyle Filipowski led Duke with 16 points and nine rebounds Friday night. Roach added 14 points, three rebounds and three assists. Duke went 6-for-17 from behind the arc as a team, half of which belonged to Filipowski.

The Blue Devils now face NC State in the ACC Elite Eight. The Wolfpack defeated No. 2 Marquette in their Sweet 16 matchup on Friday night, marking their eighth consecutive elimination win in the ACC Tournament series.

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