Raleigh, N.C. — Duke faced another deep deficit and was staring at yet another road loss, but these Blue Devils had an even bigger problem: They weren't following the instructions of their Hall of Fame coach.
So during some late breaks, Mike Krzyzewski turned control of the huddle over to the players, and that strategy led to his latest milestone victory.
DeMarcus Nelson capped a remarkable late rally by making two free throws with 1:01 remaining to lift No. 7 Duke past North Carolina State, 87-86, on Saturday and give Coach K his 800th career win.
"He kind of let us decide what we were going to do with the game," guard Jon Scheyer said, "because for a lot of it, we weren't doing the things that (the coaches) told us to do."
Nelson and Scheyer both scored 19 points for the Blue Devils (25-3, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who used a game-closing 14-5 run to take their only lead of the half, win their third straight and snap a two-game losing streak away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"For a couple of late timeouts, I let anyone who would actually want to talk - and say something that somebody would listen to - run the huddle," Krzyzewski said. "Teams become really good when they talk to each other. What happens is, they take ownership. We never took ownership of this game until late in the second half."
Ben McCauley scored 19 points for N.C. State (15-14, 4-11), and he made one of two free throws with 1:11 remaining to put the Wolfpack up 86-85. He fouled Nelson 10 seconds later, and the Duke captain - a 45 percent free throw shooter in his previous six games - knocked down both.
No. 2 Memphis 76, Southern Mississippi 67
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Derrick Rose scored 23 points, including 11 in a five-minute span of the second half, to help Memphis pull away. The Tigers (28-1, 14-0) clinched their third consecutive Conference USA regular-season title with their 37th straight league win.
It was the second straight win for Memphis since its 66-62 loss to Tennessee last weekend cost the Tigers the No. 1 ranking with their first loss of the season.
The Tigers have been ranked either No. 1 or 2 for a school-record 13 straight weeks.
No. 3 North Carolina 90, Boston College 80
Boston - Tyler Hansbrough scored 25 points, and North Carolina overcame 46 points from Tyrese Rice and an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Boston College.
Wayne Ellington had 18 of his 20 points in the second half for the Tar Heels (27-2, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their sixth straight.
Rice surpassed his career highs of 32 points and six three-pointers by halftime, making 8-of-9 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes. He started the second half with a steal and fast-break layup to give him 36 points, and then he hit the next basket to make it 58-40.
No. 8 Stanford 60, No. 22 Washington State 53
Stanford, Calif. - Brook Lopez scored 25 points and pulled down six rebounds to help Stanford maintain its Pac-10 title hopes.
No. 9 Xavier 66, George Washington 56
Cincinnati - C.J. Anderson scored 15 points, and Xavier wasted an 18-point lead before rallying for its 11th straight victory. Xavier (25-4, 13-1) struggled in its first game since clinching the Atlantic 10 title.
No. 11 Georgetown 70, No. 21 Marquette 68, OT
Milwaukee - Roy Hibbert and Jonathan Wallace scored 20 points each to lift Georgetown to an overtime victory.
No. 14 Butler 65, Detroit 31
Indianapolis - Pete Campbell had 24 points on a career-high eight three-pointers. Mike Green finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Bulldogs (27-3, 16-2 Horizon League), who won for the 11th time in 12 games.
No. 15 Connecticut 79, West Virginia 71
Hartford, Conn. - A.J. Price scored 24 points, and Connecticut held off West Virginia, the Huskies' 12th win in 13 games that kept alive their hopes of a Big East regular-season title. Jeff Adrien had 17 points and 10 rebounds - his 16th double-double of the season - for Connecticut (23-6, 12-4), while Price hit five three-pointers.
No. 16 Purdue 68, Northwestern 43
West Lafayette, Ind. - Freshman Robbie Hummel scored 15 points, and Purdue beat Northwestern to move into a tie with Wisconsin for first place in the Big Ten.
Arkansas 78, No. 18 Vanderbilt 73
Fayetteville, Ark. - Sonny Weems scored 20 points, and Arkansas held off Vanderbilt after the Commodores called a timeout they didn't have in the final seconds. Vanderbilt had pulled within 74-73 on Jermaine Beal's two free throws with 7.3 seconds remaining.
No. 20 Drake 73, Wichita State 63
Des Moines, Iowa - Klayton Korver scored 19 points, and Adam Emmenecker and Leonard Houston added 14 each as Drake closed its best regular season in 39 years. The Bulldogs reached the 25-win mark for the first time since 1969, when they went to the Final Four.
Bowling Green 89, No. 23 Kent State 83
Bowling Green, Ohio - Brian Moten scored 24 points and had six of Bowling Green's 11 three-pointers as the Falcons beat No. 23 Kent State 89-83 on Saturday in its first game as a ranked team.
No. 24 Gonzaga 88, No. 25 Saint Mary's 76
Spokane, Wash. - Jeremy Pargo scored all 18 of his points in the second half, and Gonzaga beat Saint Mary's to break a tie for first place in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga avenged its only league loss.