Five years ago, Tyus Jones was an 8th grader playing for the varsity basketball team at Apple Valley High School. Monday night, Jones showed a national audience why top college programs like Duke had their eyes on the freshman sensation since he was in middle school.
Jones put the Blue Devils on his back, leading Duke to a 68-63 national championship win over Wisconsin. He scored 13 of his career-high 23 points in the last 11 minutes of the game.
Jones made a 3-pointer with just over 4 minutes left in the game that gave Duke a 59-58 lead.
"That's just one of those situations where you dream of hitting a shot like that late in the game," Jones said. "It was just emotions running through me, and you just got to soak it all in. You don't expect to make a shot like that, but my teammates have confidence in me. When I saw it go through the hoop, it was one of those things."
After fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor added a pair of layups, Jones hit another three to put Duke up by 8 points with just 1:24 to play. Jones added a pair of late free throws to secure Duke's 5th championship under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Most Outstanding Player
Tyus Jones was named the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player. His 23 points were the most points ever by a Duke freshman in a national title game.