After the instant classic of UCF-Duke in Columbia, South Carolina, Tacko Fall continued to be the topic of conversation. Duke narrowly escaped the Colonial Life Arena with a win over UCF to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. Duke players appeared to understand just how close the Blue Devils were to having their championship hopes dashed by the Knights.
“Tacko was a big challenge,” Williamson said in the locker room after the game. “Just in general, he is not an average player. He’s 7’6″ and he controls the paint. They ran a great defense and they all played hard. He doesn’t stand in the paint when someone is open. Their defense was incredible. Tacko played a great game, but we were able to get him in foul trouble. That put him on the bench and helped us a lot.”
Check out the video highlights of Williamson’s comments in the video below.
Fall finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks, but the biggest stat of the night turned out to be Fall’s five fouls. Williamson was able to draw Fall’s final foul in the closing seconds to help Duke win the game. Williamson missed the second free throw, but the Blue Devils were able to score on an offensive rebound.
After the game, Cam Reddish admitted to being a “little bit” surprised that Duke was victorious given how the game went in the closing minutes. Mike Krzyzewski gave credit to his star players for the win, but also noted Duke got a little “lucky.”
“They were deserving of winning,” Krzyzewski said, per Bleacher Report. “We hung in there, we made a couple of big plays here, and RJ [Barrett] and Zion [Williamson], they willed us. And we were lucky.”
What Is Next for Tacko Fall? UCF Big Man Hopes to Have Played His Way Into an NBA Opportunity
Fall has played his final game for UCF and the big question is what happens next for the big man. Heading into March Madness, Fall was ranked outside the top 100 players by most major draft analysts. His most likely path to the NBA would have started as a Summer League free agent. It will be interesting to see if Fall showed enough promise to prompt an NBA team to use a second-round pick on him.
Having watched Fall play in person several times (including both NCAA tournament games), it is incredible how well he moves for his size. Fall’s stats don’t do his game justice as he alters so many shots defensively even when they are not recorded as blocks. The biggest hindrance to Fall’s potential NBA career is his inability to shoot. Fall may have shown enough during March Madness to prove he can give a team 10 to 15 minutes as a backup center