Duke beat Wisconsin 68-63 to win the men’s NCAA National Championship in dramatic fashion on Monday. The night’s biggest surprise, in a game that opened as a pick'em and saw the lead swing back and forth, was the performance of freshman guard Grayson Allen.
Allen, who had averaged 4 points per game heading into the final at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium and scored just 18 total during the tournament's earlier rounds, scored 16 points against the Badgers. He also keyed a dramatic second-half comeback for the Blue Devils by scoring eight straight points and earning a critical steal during an 11-3 Duke run with the Blue Devils trailing 48-39 with less than 13 minutes to play in the game. He also looks like a certain Texas Senator who announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination last month:
In addition to his resemblance to Ted Cruz and his Final Four heroics—Allen scored nine against Michigan State in the national semifinal—the 6-foot-4 guard proved himself to be an exceptionally hateful young Dukie in the team's previous game, when he dunked on the Spartans and needlessly taunted them.
Cruz—er, we mean, Allen was also last year’s McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk contest champion thanks to his leaping exploits:
Allen recently told the New York Times that, when he was a kid, he modeled his game after former University of North Carolina star Vince Carter. Who knows whether he’ll be able to one day emulate Carter’s NBA dunking success, but for now he has one more more national title with Duke than Carter ever won with UNC, and he’s one of the main heroes behind coach Mike Krzyzewski’s fifth national title.