PHILADELPHIA -- The No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils handed 15th-seeded Albany a 73-61 NCAA tournament loss Friday.
Overview: Mike Krzyzewski, a man who’s amassed a few good memories to recall if the mood strikes him, doesn’t believe in looking backward, not on good times and certainly not on bad. So when most everyone wanted to make the dialogue surrounding Duke’s second-round matchup with Albany about last year’s second-round loss to Lehigh, he refused.
“My feeling is stay in this moment," he said. “Whatever happened in the past, good or bad, has happened in the past."
For a little while at least, the past threatened to ruin the present for the Blue Devils.
Albany refused to go away, momentarily giving their purple-clad fans reason to cheer when the Great Danes cut the Duke lead to single digits late in the second half.
In the end, though, Albany couldn’t duplicate Lehigh’s second-round stunner of similarly seeded No. 2 Duke, and the Blue Devils officially got the monkey off their back, the albatross from around their neck, the hex removed.
Pick your metaphor.
Turning point: Albany made it an eight-point game late in the second half, but this time, Seth Curry was there for the bailout. A year after a dismal game against Lehigh, Curry was the hero. He not only led the Blue Devils in scoring, he got the important bucket, too. Curry scooped up a slapped offensive rebound, drove the lane and scored, officially ending any Albany threat.
Key player: A year ago, Curry went 1-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-7 from behind the arc as Duke lost to Lehigh. On Friday, Curry couldn’t miss. He shot 10 of 14 from the floor and 4 of 6 from the free throw line for 26 points.
Key stat: Sometimes the game of basketball is not terribly complicated. If you shoot the ball well, good things are likely to happen. Duke shot the ball exceptionally well -- 58.7 percent from the floor. A good thing happened for Duke, and the Blue Devils won.
Next: The Blue Devils advance to the Midwest Regional third round on Sunday. They will play either No. 7 seed Creighton or No. 10 Cincinnati.