Duke claims fifth Maui title

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Duke is still the king of Maui. Tyler Thornton made sure of it.

Thornton capped a thrilling game between basketball behemoths, hitting an off-balance 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to give the sixth-ranked Blue Devils enough cushion to finish off a 68-61 win over No. 14 Kansas for its fifth Maui Invitational title.

Thornton hit one 3-pointer with 1:10 left and gave the Blue Devils the cushion they needed with his second, the shot clock winding down, a host of Jayhawks in his face.

Thornton's big 3s kept Duke (7-0) undefeated in Maui Invitational at 15-0.

The Blue Devils and Jayhawks went toe-to-toe from the start, electrifying the crowd with the kind of compelling counterpunching you'd expect from blue-blood programs.

Unleashing an array of alley-oops, 3-pointers and teeth-jarring picks, they never let the other get too far ahead, with 16 lead changes and 12 ties.

It, of course, came down to a thrilling finish.

Thornton provided the final fireworks, hitting his first 3-pointer to Duke up two and the did-he-just-do-that one after the Blue Devils forced Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor into his 11th turnover.

Ryan Kelly hurt Kansas with his inside-outside game, scoring 17 points to earn MVP honors. Mason Plumlee gave the Jayhawks fits inside with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Kansas (4-1) stayed with Duke until the end despite Taylor's careless ways, taking a 61-60 lead on Elijah Johnson's 3-pointer with 1:33 left.

It turned out to be the Jayhawks' last time in front, thanks to Thornton.

Thomas Robinson had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Jeff Withey had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor had 17 points.

This rare early matchup of college basketball powers had the potential to be one of the most exciting in the 28-year history of the Maui Invitational.

Duke's resume includes four national titles, the winningest coach in Division I history and as strong a following as any team in the country.

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