KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Tom Crean has guided Marquette to
consecutive wins over teams coached by Bob Knight and Mike
Krzyzewski the past two nights.
Think the Golden Eagles -- and their coach -- belong among college
Dominic James scored a season-high 25 points and led a late
surge to help Marquette (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No, 13 AP) beat Duke (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) 73-62 on Tuesday
night in the championship game of the CBE Classic.
The Golden Eagles turned 19 Duke turnovers into 25 points, one
night after scoring 27 points off turnovers in an 87-72 victory
over Texas Tech.
"Beating Bobby Knight and Mike Krzyzewski -- to win validates
our hard work," said Crean, who has averaged 20 wins in seven
seasons at Marquette, including a Final Four berth in 2003. "To
play against great coaches and great programs, to cut down the nets
and be able to raise this championship banner at our arena will
bring memories that will last forever."
They probably wouldn't have been possible if not for James,
Marquette's gritty sophomore guard.
With the game tied at 56 and 6:23 to go, he scored 10 points in
a span of less than 2½ minutes. James was fouled connecting on a
fall-away jumper with 3:57 left, and after he made the free throw
Marquette (6-0) led 67-58.
The Blue Devils (4-1) could not mount a rally over the final
couple of minutes, giving Crean his seventh win in 18 games against
teams ranked in the top 10.
"Our whole mentality was we couldn't take a possession off
against these teams at all," Crean said.
The Duke guard, who has been hampered by a foot injury, had only
seven points and committed six turnovers before fouling out late in
"We committed 19 turnovers to their nine. With that turnover
differential, you're not going to win," Krzyzewski said. "They
had 25 points off our turnovers. You can't do that. They scored off
our turnovers. Our defense was pretty good."
Josh McRoberts led the Blue Devils with 15 points. DeMarcus
Nelson added 13 but scored only two over the final 34 minutes as
Duke cooled off to a 33 percent clip from the field in the second
"We quit giving him open shots, for one thing," Crean said.
"We adjusted. We kept him in front of us and didn't give him the
looks he had early. He was a huge part of our game plan."
A large Marquette contingent held its collective breath with
2:04 to go when James got tangled with Nelson and fell to the floor
holding his right ankle. James was helped to the bench but was
hopping around on his feet a moment later, imploring Crean to let
him back in the game.
James returned with 50.8 seconds to go and the outcome already
"That kid James is a really good player," Krzyzewski said.
"Strong, stocky, quick and a really good will. He reminds me of
Jason Williams. He's not as tall, but because of his strength."
Nelson, also chosen for the all-tournament team, got off to an
electrifying start, scoring 11 of Duke's first 15 points on three
3-pointers and a dunk. By the time he hit McRoberts for an ally-oop
reverse jam, the Blue Devils had a 21-16 lead midway through the
But after Brian Zoubek scored in the post a couple of minutes
later to make it 23-18, the Blue Devils went nearly seven minutes
without a field goal, allowing Marquette to take a 28-26 lead with
2:38 to go in the half.
McRoberts tied the game at 32 with 31 seconds left, but James
curled in a jumper a few seconds later to give Marquette a 34-32
lead at the break.
The title game of the CBE Classic, formerly the Guardians
Classic, was the final one at venerable Municipal Auditorium, which
has hosted more Final Fours (nine) than any other building. The
last two rounds move next year to the Sprint Center, now under
construction in downtown Kansas City.
In the third-place game, Air Force beat Texas Tech 67-53.