East: Olivier Nkamhoua ties career best in points as No. 4 Tennessee beats No. 5 Duke

Olivier Nkamhoua scored 23 of his career-best-tying 27 points in the second half to help No. 4 Tennessee notch a 65-52 victory over No. 5 Duke in NCAA Tournament East Region play on Saturday afternoon at Orlando, Fla.Santiago Vescovi made four 3-pointers while scoring 14 points as the Volunteers (25-10) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2019. Nkamhoua made 10 of 13 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.Tennessee will face either ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic or 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday in New York.Tyrese Proctor scored 16 points for the Blue Devils (27-9), who were eliminated in the second round for the first time since 2017. Kyle Filipowski added 13 points and eight rebounds and Jeremy Roach also scored 13 points.Duke was plagued by 15 turnovers in coach Jon Scheyer’s first NCAA Tournament since replacing Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski.The Blue Devils connected on 42.9 percent of their shots, including just 6 of 21 from behind the arc.Tennessee shot 40.4 percent from the field and made 9 of 21 from 3-point range. The Volunteers held an 18-7 edge in points off turnovers.Nkamhoua scored 13 straight Tennessee points to help his club hold off the Blue Devils’ bids to rally.Duke pulled within two points early in the second half before the Volunteers responded with a 11-4 run. Vescovi made two 3-pointers in 38 seconds as Tennessee took a 44-35 lead with 11:54 left.The Blue Devils were within 46-42 on Filipowski’s basket with 9:10 remaining before Nkamhoua scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer, to push the lead to nine with 8:06 to play.Nkamhoua also scored the next eight Tennessee points, with his trey pushing the lead to 59-48 with 4:16 remaining.Nkamhoua’s ferocious putback dunk made it 63-52 with 1:15 left and Nkamhoua added two free throws with 48.8 seconds left as Tennessee finished off the victory in style.