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This is the seventh in a series of Duke’s All-Decade teams, as named by various Chronicle writers, past and present. At the end of the series, you will be able to vote for your own All-Decade team, and your votes will determine The Sports Blog’s final choice. Stay tuned over the next two weeks for more All-Decade choices.
Earlier this week, I penned a column on Duke recruiting, arguing, among other things, that the focus of the program's critics should be on the development of players once they arrive on campus and not on who those players are to begin with. That same day, News & Observer beat writer J.P Giglio wrote a blog post calling the Blue Devils' recruitment of Raleigh point guard John Wall a "desperate" move by head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
BOSTON — Kyle Singler's sophomore season won't be his last one.
VILLANOVA 77 DUKE 54 -- FINAL -- Ballgame. Season.
I know, I know, Blue Devil nation. You've been waiting all day, refreshing your feed to both Twitter and the Chronicle Sports Blog, pacing your room, mentally preparing yourself for this hopefully prescient preview. Problems with identifying the media shuttle--"You can't miss it," the doorman said. We proved him wrong--and with signing up for the Internet have stalled it this far. But here goes:
A respectable 6-2 mark yesterday--I mean, I'm no Barack Obama--leaves me at 27-13 for the Tournament. Remember, my original picks (before they were messed up Friday) are in parentheses.
THE CONTENTS: No. 2 Duke looks to reach its first Sweet 16 in three seasons when it battles No. 7 Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. in Greensboro Coliseum. You can see the game on CBS with Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg and hear it on 620 AM.
After the first round and a stellar 9-7 mark yesterday (I'm like the Arizona Cardinals of March Madness predictions), I stand at a sparkling 21-11, or, somehow, a game ahead of last year's anemic 20-12 pace. Oh, and I only lost one Final Four team, Wake Forest, who I had beating West Virginia in the Elite 8. Neither loss really bothers me.
I'm off to a flying 12-4 start, even though I boldly stated that Memphis would rout Northridge (I mean, 81-70 qualifies as a rout in my book) and that LSU would almost certainly lose. I regret nothing. I did after all call that Western Kentucky upset, and NOBODY saw that one coming.
THE CONTENTS: No. 2 Duke takes on No. 15 Binghamton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tonight at Greensboro Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. You can see the game on CBS with Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg and hear it on 620 AM.
Last year, I went an incredible 38-25 in my round-by-round picks for the NCAA Tournament (n.b.: the "incredible" is a bit of what we in the business call "editorializing"). This year, the goal is to top that number, and I'm off to a good start with my choice of Morehead State in the play-in Opening Round Game Tuesday night.
In preparation for Thursday night's first-round contest between No. 2 Duke and No. 15 Binghamton, I sat down—that's a figure of speech, it was more an e-mail exchange—with Cyril Cheriyan, the sports editor of the Pipe Dream, the student newspaper at Binghamton.
For the second consecutive season, Duke will play in the NCAA Tournament as a second seed. This year, the ACC Tournament champion Blue Devils get the added bonus of playing close to home in nearby Greensboro Coliseum--about an hour drive from Durham.
7:21 -- Some final thoughts after listening to the riveting ESPN debate about majors vs. mid-majors, which happens every year regardless what happens. I had Penn State in over Arizona, and I stand by that. The Nittany Lions had more wins in a tougher conference than the Wildcats, and their wins came against the top half of the Big Ten. Six of Arizona's nine Pac-10 wins came against the bottom four in the conference.
At 4:40 p.m. EST, I think I'm ready to finalize my bracket. Let's break down the major arguments:
THE CONTENTS: Oh, it's just a little game called the ACC Tournament Championship between No. 9 Duke and No. 22 Florida State at 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. You can see the game locally on Raycom with Tim Brandt and Mike Gminski and nationally on ESPN with Mike Patrick and Dick Vitale. You can hear it on 620 AM.
9:30 PM -- USC's come-from-behind victory over Arizona State is the death knell for some bubble team, probably a Creighton or Saint Mary's. Missouri did hold off Baylor, preventing further bubble shrinkage. Utah survived a late rally by San Diego State in a defensive struggle, 52-50, to keep the Aztecs on shaky ground.
Photo by Chase Olivieri/The Chronicle
Admit it: You missed me. Or you completely didn't realize that your last week was devoid of witty game previews and/or witty postgame analyses, largely because I was devoid of free internet access (unless I went to the Hooter's in my hotel that had free Wi-Fi; thing is, if I'm going to Hooter's, it ain't for free Wi-Fi).
THE CONTENTS: No. 7 Duke hosts--last time we get to use that subject/predicate construction this season--No. 24 Florida State at 8 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Senior Night. You can see the game on Raycom (which translates to WRAL or CBS) and hear it on 620 AM.