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LIVE BLOG: Michigan 81, Duke 73 (FINAL)

:23.2, U-M 79-71: Henderson's 3 hits the front of the iron, and he has to foul. That's it for now--reactions later from Duke's first loss of the year.

:32.6, U-M 77-71: Smith spins and shoots a 3, but it rims out. Duke has to foul, and now the game might finally be in the books.

:41.9, U-M 75-71: Scheyer drills a 3 from the left corner. All of a sudden, the Blue Devils are catching fire from long range.

1:01, U-M 74-68: Henderson makes a 3 (where was this earlier?), but is it too little, too late for Duke?

1:58: A Smith 3 pulls Duke within 5, but Manny Harris' emphatic dunk puts Michigan up by 7. Henderson misses a long 2, and now Duke has to foul. Barring a miraculous final 1:15, this one's over.

2:55 2nd, U-M 68-62: Henderson makes an absolutely crucial 3 from the right corner. Duke's going to need some more offensive sets like that if it's going to pull off the comeback.

3:31 2nd, U-M 66-59: Manny Harris makes a backdoor cut--again-- and Lance Thomas is called for offensive goaltending, giving Michigan the ball back up 7. Time is starting to work against the Blue Devils.

3:59 2nd, U-M 64-58: Singler gets the ball in the post and is fouled. He'll be going to the line after the media timeout for two free throws that might be as critical as you can have with four minutes still remaining.

4:53 2nd, U-M 62-58: Singler misses the front end of a 1-and-1, but the Blue Devils corral the rebound. Henderson makes a hook in the lane, and he converts the and 1 opportunity to pull Duke back within 4.

5:53 2nd, U-M 59-55: Henderson may have just saved this game for the Blue Devils. He came out of nowhere to block an apparently uncontested layup after Sims split the free throws. But Duke misses on the offensive end, and Sims makes the basket and free throw on the other end to put Michigan up 7.

6:11 2nd, U-M 58-55: A wide open Sims is fouled by Henderson to prevent the easy layup. But Michigan's unstoppable forward is going to the line with a chance to push his team's lead to 5.

7:39 2nd, U-M 56-53: Novak  buries two 3s in a row--separated by a Paulus missed 3--as Michigan goes up by 3. This is starting to look like a certain March game against John Beilein's former team. The Blue Devils are an outside shooting team--today more so than earlier this season, incidentally--and it's coming back to hurt them. A 3-for-26 performance from beyond the arc isn't going to cut it.

9:28 2nd, U-M 50-48: The Blue Devils keep shooting wide open 3s--and missing them. Singler drives the lane and converts an old-fashioned three-point play, though, and Duke has the lead back at 51-50.

11:38 2nd, U-M 48-46: Kelvin Grady cashes in on a backdoor cut for the Wolverines. Michigan isn't going away by any means, despite Duke's run where it seemed to regain the momentum. Somebody's going to have to step up for the Blue Devils in the last 11 minutes of this game.

12:15, U-M 46-44: Just like that, Michigan ties it up. Sims puts in a layup for his 17th and 18th points of the day, and a fast break layup off a Duke turnover ties the score. Then--guess who?--Sims hits a long two to give Michigan the lead back.

14:20, Duke 44-40: And right on cue, Scheyer steals a pass and goes all the way to the basket to give the Blue Devils a four-point lead. Michigan calls timeout. All of a sudden the crowd, is much quieter--Duke needed a run like this to take an increasingly raucous student section out of it.

15:11, U-M 40-38: Scheyer attacks the rim, converting the layup and the free-throw for the conventional three-point play. Henderson picks up a steal on the defensive end and then finds Singler cutting through the lane for a short jumper. Duke seems to be more in sync than the first half...

15:31, U-M 39-37: Lloyd Carr is shown on the Jumbotron and gets a rousing cheer from the Crisler Arena crowd. Wonder where Rich Rodriguez is? We're guessing he might not receive as favorable a reaction...

15:50, U-M 39-37: A Henderson-to-Smith fast break evens the score, then DeShawn Sims--who's torching the Blue Devils--nails a 3. Singler counters with Duke's 3rd made 3-pointer of the game, but Sims converts an easy bucket to put Michigan back up by 2.

18:00, U-M 34-30: Duke keeps shooting 3s... and missing them. Fortunately for the Blue Devils, the Wolverines are having some offensive issues of their own, with several passes completely missing their mark. Brian Zoubek makes a nice baseline move on the next possession to pull Duke back within 2.

HALFTIME: The Blue Devils came out sluggish this afternoon in Crisler Arena, and Michigan is certainly taking advantage so far. While Duke is shooting an abysmal 2-of-18 from beyond the arc, the Wolverines have hit four from long range. More than half of the Blue Devils' shots have been threes. Combine that with their 11% success from that distance, and you have a 2-point deficit to a mediocre Big Ten team. Duke needs to rediscover the success it had against the zone in Madison Square Garden two weeks ago and go back to doing what it did during that championship game--not impatiently shooting 3s. Mike Krzyzewski has played 11 players in hopes of finding the right combination, but nothing has clicked yet. Keep an eye out for Gerald Henderson, who was limited to 3 minutes because of foul trouble in the first half, but showed he can dominate the second half of a game against Southern Illinois. The Blue Devils may need another huge effort like that if they are to hold off Michigan.

0:00 1st, U-M 32-30: Nolan Smith's 3 at the buzzer clanks off the back of the rim, and Duke enters halftime down by two. The Wolverines' zone and Princeton offense have caused problems for the Blue Devils in the first half, and they'll need to find a way to recapture their 2K Sports Classic success if they want to leave Crisler Arena with a win.

2:27 1st, Duke 28-25: Marty Pocius hits Duke's first three of the game, just over 2 minutes before halftime. But Elliot Williams follows it up with an airball on the next possession, and the Wolverines' Zack Novak hit a 3 to take the lead 30-28. The longer Michigan stays in this game, the more trouble it poses for Duke.

3:59 1st, 25-25: Manny Harris puts in a layup to even the score. The Blue Devils look out of sync on offense, as they still haven't hit an outside shot to put pressure on Michigan's 1-3-1 zone defense.

5:58 1st, 23-23: Duke is struggling from long range. The Blue Devils haven't hit a 3-pointer yet, and the Wolverines are taking advantage. Michigan's Jevohn Shepherd is going to the line with a chance to take the lead late in the first half, but he misses and Scheyer converts on the other end to put Duke up 2.

9:41 1st, U-M 18-17: Michigan goes on a run out of the second media timeout of the half, as a pass off the hands of Kyle Singler opens the door for a Wolverine bucket to give Michigan the lead.

12:23 1st, Duke 15, U-M 11: Not quite the start the Blue Devils had been hoping for, but Michigan's shots haven't all been going in, and the Blue Devils have a four point lead to start the game. This has all the makings of a classic trap game for Duke. The Blue Devils are coming off a 16-point win over Purdue, they're playing a Wolverine team they beat easily in MSG two weeks ago and they have an upcoming 11-day break. This game will show a lot about this Duke team's mental toughness.


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