Posts Tagged ‘ Duke Blue Devils ’

Devil Of A Game


Say what you want, but the Duke Blue Devils reached the top of the NCAA world after a nine year absence.

In a season that was reigned by Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, and a few other teams, Duke was never mentioned. They quietly did their thing, and while doing that all regular season, they quietly won the ACC, the ACC tournament, and earned their position in the tournament.

The naysayers and critics believed that Duke was the weakest of the #1 seeds in the tournament, and had the easiest road, but Duke went out and handled their business. Breezed through the South Region and the Final Four for a trip to Indianapolis.

Then the stage was set for the National Championship. They faced a team that had the crowd, and a “Hoosiers” like story behind them in the Butler Bulldogs. Like Duke, this was a team that handled their business. 25 straight wins, knocked off Goliaths such as Syracuse, Kansas State, and Michigan State. Playing down the road from the championship site (Lucas Oil Stadium), Butler was looking for a great story and cap off a Cinderella run.

Butler showed nothing but heart in a game where they were a 7.5 point underdog, and many people felt that Duke would steamroll them and make it no contest. The Bulldogs showed nothing but grit and grind in this game, when Duke got up by six, Butler responded with seven straight points. When the Blue Devils wanted to pull away, Butler would not let them, it took a 48 foot heave by Gordon Hayward that hit the backboard and off the front iron that gave Duke its first championship since 2001.

For the Blue Devils, it was their fourth championship, in a tournament where they knocked off a seed higher than four for the first time since 2001 (last time they won), and they used their strengths and improved their weakness. From Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler’s ability to shoot from the outside and the length and height of Brian Zoubek and the Plumlee brothers (Mason & Miles), coming home to Indiana to win a national championship. And Coach Mike Krzyzewski, coming off the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, claims another title, which ties him with Adolph Rupp of Kentucky for the second most championships among coaches with four. (Behind John Wooden’s 10).

Finally how about Nolan Smith. 30 years after his dad, Derek Smith won a National Championship with Louisville in 1980 in Indianapolis at the old Market Square Arena, he wins one himself in the same city at Lucas Oil Stadium. A great story indeed.

The National Championship stays in the ACC, and in the state of North Carolina continues to reign supreme in college hoops. And it will just add more fire to the already heated UNC/Duke rivalry. Celebration is on in Cameron, congratulations Duke. You earned it.

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2010 Bracket Series: South Region- 2nd Round

The South Region of the 2010 NCAA Tournament featured probably the only matchups where the seedings are in some kind of order. Only two double digit seeds moved on in St. Mary’s & ODU. The top-seed in this region, the Duke Blue Devils, had no problem with Arkansas Pine-Bluff, and should not have a problem with California in the 2nd round. The dark horse of the tournament coming in, the Siena Saints, disappointed and were eliminated in the first round. The most disappointing team in the region that’s still alive is the Villanova Wildcats. More on that in their matchup preview.

(1) Duke vs. (8) California- If Louisville was in this matchup, I would put this as an upset alert, but with Cal winning the game, it made Duke’s road to the Sweet 16 so much easier. Blue Devils advance with ease.

(4) Purdue vs. (5) Texas A&M- Purdue had no problem with Siena, but Texas A&M is a different animal. If Robbie Hummel was playing, the pick would be easier to do with Purdue, but he’s such an x-factor to the Boilermakers’ game that one has to go with Texas A&M.

(3) Baylor vs. (11) Old Dominion- Old Dominion wasn’t even supposed to be here, but they are. But they are going against a very focused Baylor team. Lacedarius Dunn & Tweety Carter are playing some great ball, and Baylor should have no problems w/ ODU in this one.

(2) Villanova vs. (10) St. Mary’s- Villanova played horribly and did not deserve that win over Robert Morris, but they found a way to win nonetheless. One thing is for certain, if they play that way against a even better St. Mary’s team, this game is over. The Gaels will not be a tall order for Jay Wright’s bunch, so whatever issues on AND off the court they have, they need to fix it and fix it immediately.

The final region in the Bracket Series will be done in the West Region.

2010 Bracket Series: South Region- 1st Round

The TSX Bracket Series for 2010 continues on with the South Region, Duke is the top seed in this region, but are they really the favorite to come out of this one? Stay tuned and find out, but let’s concentrate on these first round matchups.

(1) Duke vs. (16) Arkansas-Pine Bluff- UAPB’s lack of size is going to be their downfall. Plus they’re playing Duke… Easy win for the Blue Devils.

(8) California vs. (9) Louisville- Cal made the tournament… Louisville will dispatch them easily and as quietly as California made the tournament, they will exit.

(5) Texas A&M vs. (12) Utah State- UPSET ALERT! It will be the battle of the Aggies, and although Texas A&M is the favorite, do not be surprised or sleep on the Aggies from Logan, UT. They have the capability to get into the second round, and make some kind of noise. This is a #5 vs. #12 matchup to watch.

(4) Purdue vs. (13) Siena- UPSET ALERT! Many people have Siena as a dark horse, and this team is very experienced and tourney tested. They are actually the favorite against Purdue ever since Robbie Hummel went down with a torn ACL. Since Hummel’s scary in injury in Minneapolis, the Boilermakers have not been the same. Siena can make the Sweet 16, even possibly the Elite Eight. Only time will tell.

(6) Notre Dame vs. (11) Old Dominion- No upset alert here, the Irish are playing well at the right time, and Luke Harangody is back and the Irish should be the clear cut winners in this game. If the Monarchs win, it will be a surprise.

(3) Baylor vs. (14) Sam Houston State- The Bears have the potential to go on an Elite Eight run themselves, and make noise in the tournament. They should have no trouble with the Southland Conference Champion.

(7) Richmond vs. (10) St. Mary’s- UPSET ALERT!- This is only an upset alert based on seeding. The Gaels are riding high after knocking off the giant Gonzaga, and they look like the better team over the struggling Spiders into this game.

(2) Villanova vs. (15) Robert Morris- Nova has what it takes to make the Final Four. If Robert Morris does beat them in the first round, it would be a colossal upset. Nova in the next round.