The hero label could have been liberally applied among the Arizona Wildcats roster Sunday - Brian Williams, Matt Muehlebach, Chris Mills and Sean Rooks can all lay claim to indespensability.
Williams scored 24 points, and Muehlebach's three-point basket early in the second overtime gave No. 8 Arizona a lead it would preserve in a 103-96 victory against seventh-ranked Duke.The win kept alive the nation's longest current home-court winning streak at 61 games.
Rooks' layin with three seconds remaining knotted the score at 78-78 for Arizona, 22-5, and sent the game into its first overtime.
"We were down two points, and I knew we just had to run the floor and get down there and somehow lay it in," said Rooks. "They got me the ball and I did."
Mills' baseline jumper with 15 seconds left tied it 88-88 and forced a second overtime.
"I knew I had a good shot at the basket, and I just barely got it over (Christian) Laettner's hands," said Mills, who finished with 21 points. "This was such a big game for the NCAA (tournament) seedings. We should move ahead of (Duke) in the ratings now."
Laettner scored 26 points and Grant Hill added 19 points for the Blue Devils, 23-6.
Muehlebach's three-point basket opened the scoring in the second extra period, and the Pacific 10 Conference-leading Wildcats led the rest of the way. Muehlebach added four free throws and finished with 14 points.
"I was thinking, `There's got to be a way to keep the streak going,"' said Williams, a junior. "There were so many times that we could have lost the game. And if we had, it really would have hurt."
Four Blue Devils fouled out as did Williams and Mills for Arizona.
The Wildcats committed an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers in the first half, one above their per-game average, but adjusted to Duke's defensive pressure and committed only eight turnovers the rest of the way.
"I don't think there was just one factor to the game," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. "We needed to execute and sometimes we just didn't do it when we needed to. Overall, we played good defense but not in those key situations at the end of the game and at the end of the first overtime."
Elsewhere in the Top 25 Sunday, No. 4 Indiana routed Michigan 112-79, No. 5 Syracuse ripped Pittsburgh 89-68 and No. 15 Oklahoma stopped Colorado 79-67.
At Bloomington, Ind., Calbert Cheaney scored 30 points and Damon Bailey added 16 to pace Indiana in a Big Ten game. The Hoosiers, 23-4, had lost their previous two games. Indiana committed just six turnovers to 22 for Michigan. For the Wolverines, Demetrius Calip tossed in 28 points.
At Syracuse, N.Y., Billy Owens scored 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Orangemen ruled inside to crush Pitt in the Big East. Syracuse, 24-4, was also backed by LeRon Ellis with 19 points and 13 rebounds and four blocks. The Panthers, 19-9, were led by Jason Matthews with 16 points.
At Stillwater, Okla., Byron Houston scored 31 points and set off a decisive second-half run to lift Oklahoma State, 20-5. The Cowboys, who posted their first 20-victory season since 1983, and Kansas share the Big Eight lead. Colorado's Stevie Wise scored 18 points.
In other games, Kenny Anderson scored 28 points and ran an outstanding floor game to pace Georgia Tech to an 82-69 victory over Louisville . . . Wisconsin, behind Patrick Tompkins' two free throws and assist in the final minute, beat Northwestern 79-76 for the Wildcats' 14th straight loss . . . Wake Forest got 23 points from freshman Rodney Rogers to cruise by Clemson, 81-55 . . . Arizona State got 11 of Isaac Austin's 14 points in the second half to defeat California, 87-78 . . . and Rutgers topped Massachusetts, 103-96, in overtime.
In Top 10 games Saturday, No. 1 Nevada-Las Vegas, 25-0, defeated Cal-Irvine 114-86 behind Stacey Augmon's 27 points for the Rebels' 34th straight victory; No. 2 Ohio State, 24-1, edged Minnesota 63-62 as Jamaal Brown hit a 15-foot jumper with 32 seconds left; No. 3 Arkansas, with Todd Day scoring 23 points, trounced Texas A&M 111-72 to go to 27-2 and capture at least a share of the Southwest Conference title; No. 6 North Carolina, 21-4, became the first NCAA school to reach 1,500 vict