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Duke will have its toughest game of the year tonight against Illinois. The Blue Devils struggle most against teams that are quicker than they are, and the Fighting Illini's best player, Dee Brown, is the quickest player still remaining in the tournament. Just as Duke struggled mightily against Georgia Tech and UNC this year, Krzyzewski's squad will find it hard to have an advantage on the perimeter, thus taking away the team's biggest strength.
Some thoughts on the men's 2004 NCAA tournament:
Duke had won its sixth consecutive ACC tournament. After a first half that saw Chris Duhon dive for a loose ball and unfortunately was impaled by a nearby camera and after J.J. Redick had his fifth consecutive atrocious half, the fatigued Blue Devils worked out the kinks in their game to take a 74-62 lead over the Terrapins with 4:58 remaining in both teams' third contest in about 72 hours.
In front of a crowd that included Donald Trump, Grant Hill and Danny Ferry in addition to an exceptionally animated student section, the men's basketball team followed its first home loss in 41 games by defeating its arch-rival North Carolina 70-65 (18-10, 8-8 in the ACC).
GREENSBORO -- The Maryland Terrapins (19-11) denied the men's basketball team's bid at winning its sixth consecutive ACC tournament by defeating Duke (27-5) 95-87 in a pressure-packed overtime conclusion to the most competitive tournament in recent memory.
Nose-bleed seats are selling for over $1,000. A village of tents with a census of over 1000 has sprouted next to a work-out facility. And 9,134 fans are preparing to accuse a middle-aged man of being a traitor for making a career move to work at his alma mater.
Saturday's men's basketball game against North Carolina will be the only time Tar Heel fans will be allowed into Cameron Indoor Stadium, and that is only because the University is forced to allot a...
The lone man stood and sometimes crouched on the sideline. The players kept their distance, as he had kept his distance from them. Even the coaches hung back, not talking to the man who had been their leader for almost five years, not eliciting any folksy sayings in his North Carolina drawl. Although if they had to talk to him, they wouldn't know what he might say. The man whose shoulders sustained the gridiron hopes of a University, who held the pedigree and the love for the school, who had been hand-picked by the athletic director to motivate, to inspire and to succeed, Carl Franks was looking back and forth between his clipboard and the scoreboard. Wake Forest was winning 42-0. And it wasn't even halftime.
Georgia Tech beat Duke Wednesday night, and it is as simple as that.
This article is not an attack on women's college basketball. The NCAA justly gives talented athletes a national stage where they can display their talents. Although many fault the women's game for being drastically inferior to that of its male counterparts, the women's game, less influenced by finances, represents a purity in the sport that will probably never be seen again. That being said, the ACC needs to eliminate its women's basketball tournament immediately.
As Duke wrapped up its road schedule with a 70-65 win over Florida State Sunday, one thing remained completely clear: J.J. Redick is the most hated man in college basketball. While national hatred for Redick may have been on the rise in late January when Maryland fans chanted in unison, "F You, J.J.," the cheers could almost be expected from the College Park crowd. After all, this was the place where students wore shirts that read "F Duke" on the front and "And Osama bin Laden" on the back during Duke's first football matchup with the Terrapins after the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11. Maryland fans obviously have a deep-rooted hatred for the Blue Devils, and Redick is not the only one who bears the brunt of these abhorrent feelings.
"And with the third pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select Mike Dunleavy," stated a smiling NBA commissioner David Stern. The draft had just begun, but it was already a good day for the Blue Devils. Two former Duke players had been selected, and a third, Carlos Boozer, was expected to be taken soon.
TALLAHASEE, Fla. -- Do it all Duhon did it again against Florida State.
• Head men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski
Shelden Williams is banging in the paint with Carlos Boozer. Nick Horvath is matching up one-on-one with Christian Laettner. Bobby Hurley advises Jay Williams, who shouts instructions to Chris Duhon, while Grant Hill enlightens Luol Deng.
The wait is finally over.
Metaphors constantly pervade the consciousness of sports rivalries. In the women's basketball Duke-UNC matchup, not even the most extreme comparisons are withheld.
This week's New York Times Magazine profiles the city of Virginia Beach, Va., labeling it the "new Motown" because of the creative rap and R&B music the area has recently produced. Just a three-hour car trip away in Charlottesville, Va., the Virginia basketball team (12-7, 2-8 in the ACC) sits in last-place in the ACC, seemingly desperate for the energy and innovation that comes so naturally to the state's musical acts.
It is interesting that in the same day my colleague Matt Sullivan berated Duke's fans for being naively, superficially and overly enthusiastic for basketball games, Joe Alleva--in a decision with which Mike Krzyzewski was implicitly cooperative due to comments he made over the past two days--took away 100 seats from undergraduates for tonight's game against Virginia in what seems to be punitive punishment for the weak decibel levels produced for Sunday's game against last-place Clemson. So are the Crazies an irrationally intense group or an underachieving, underappreciative conglomerate of rich, high IQ college kids?
"What's up Harrison?"