The independent news organization of Duke University

Blue Devils poised to match UConn

In 2004, Connecticut became the first school in NCAA history to win the men's and women's basketball titles in the same season. With its men's and women's teams both ranked preseason No. 1, Duke is primed to make a run at becoming the second team to do so this year.

Blue Devil fans remember UConn's run in 2004 all too well. Under the leadership of junior standouts Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor, the men's team snuck by Duke in the Final Four and beat Georgia Tech in the championship game two days later.

The Diana Taurasi-led women's team took home its title the next night with a win over Tennessee. The Huskies knocked off Minnesota, which had beaten the Duke women in the Elite Eight, in the national semifinals.

And there seem to be a number of parallels between the 2004 UConn teams and this year's Blue Devils.

On the men's side, the inside-outside combination of upperclassmen J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams is reminiscent of Gordon and Okafor. Williams and Okafor both won National Defensive Player of the Year in their junior seasons.

On the women's side, Monique Currie will provide the senior leadership and big-shot ability that Taurasi gave to the Huskies.

And both programs have two high-profile head coaches-Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma for UConn and Mike Krzyzewski and Gail Goestenkors for Duke.

Duke also has some history on its side in its quest to repeat UConn's feat. Before UConn won both titles, the 1999 Blue Devil teams were the only men's and women's teams to reach the finals in the same year.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Blue Devils poised to match UConn” on social media.