How sweet it was for Zion Williamson, soaking up unrequited love from his home state all weekend and playing with those precocious Duke brothers he loves, his proud mother Sharonda Sampson in the stands behind the Blue Devils bench.

And how sweet it is now with the Sweet 16 and Virginia Tech awaiting him Friday night in Washington, D.C., after No. 1 Duke’s 77-76 spine-tingling win over UCF on Sunday.It is still Zion Williamson’s world, and we all just live in it. Barely.

Duke survived and advanced when B.J. Taylor missed a floater and Aubrey Dawkins, the son of UCF Coach Johnny Dawkins, the former Duke star and Mike Krzyzewski assistant, missed a tip-in at the buzzer that threatened to roll in, but rolled out instead.

It was Williamson and RJ Barrett who had saved the Blue Devils.Dawkins led the Knights with 32 points, on 12-of-18 shooting, 5-for-7 from downtown, and had Duke on the ropes.

[Read more]