Williamson, who missed nearly a month with an MCL sprain, had 29 points and 14 rebounds in Duke’s 84-72 win.
They advanced to the semifinals of the tournament to face North Carolina tonight for the third time this season, after losing their first two matchups.
The ACC Freshman and Player of the Year went 13-13 from the field, becoming only the 23rd player in NCAA history to go perfect from the field with at least 13 field goal attempts. He was also the first in ACC Tourney history to go perfect from the field.
With rim-rattling dunks and thunderous blocks, the superstar freshman’s return was a smashing success.
It was also a success due to his new and improved Kyrie IV’s he wore last night thanks to Nike moving heaven and earth to ensure Zion didn’t have another blowout, according to C.L. Brown of The Athletic.
Williamson famously tore threw his Paul George 2.5’s on that faithful February night against Carolina, where former President Barack Obama was seen shouting,
“His shoe broke!”
The blow out and the knee injury as a result naturally embarrassed Nike and created a public relations nightmare.
According to Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Nike made up for it and then some to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.
Coach K stated that Nike reps were in Durham the very next day to figure out why Zion tore threw the shoe and said,
“…then those people went to China to actually look at the making of a shoe that would be very supportive.”
“They came back within a week with different alternatives to make sure that it was done right.”
Nike made multiple pairs of the shoes to ensure Williamson has plenty to last the remainder of the season as Williamson says that he wears new pairs of shoes every,
“…week and a half to two weeks.”
Williamson, considered by many to be the number one overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, is an obvious target for Nike to sign to a shoe deal and doing everything to please him is of top priority.
Zion said of his new super shoes,
“They’re a little stronger than the regular Kyrie IVs.”
Well it certainly looked like it Thursday night as Zion returned to his dominant ways, this time with his shoes intact.
Flip the pages to relive Zion’s shoe blow out and highlights of his return last night.