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Date: 3/15/2010

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Posted By: Matt (ever so happy)

No additional content, just encouraging you to leave your comments.  How about that title game?  Feel good to beat those BugThugs?  What do you think of Duke's bracket draw?  NCCH a four seed in the NIT?  Whatever's on your mind - - well, within reason - - please let us know.  Thanks.     


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Posted by: Serious G Date: 3/15/2010 10:07:59 PM  
I have heard that a JC player (Carrick Felix) will be enrolled at Duke next year. Supposed to be a great athlete.

For a team that has been on a 'slide', these dukies have accomplished quite a bit. We'll have 2 straight 30 win seasons (28-win year before that), 2 acc titles in a row. A final four berth would be a hell of a ride.

I am kinda worried about our 2nd round matchup - hope we can tough it out.

Can't wait for this weekend.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/15/2010 7:28:33 PM  
Before realizing super-Matt had the juice for this post last night, I had commented in the previous post. I believe it is still germane...

Date: 3/14/2010 10:47:18 PM
Regarding % points FT's - I've been trying to come up with some stats to define this team all season and have given up, mostly because I concluded that K and staff would consider my stuff (EP's, % min Trip-S, % Points non-Trip-S EP's) as "yeah, tell me something we don't know already" (not that these comments are read by them, mind you), instead of the somehow telling stats I had hoped them to be. I think we have to add to these surface scratchers the "% Points at FT line" being quoted. Why? Because I believe K and Co have figured out what they need to do to get the most out of this team, given its limitations, in a way more subtle and effective than us amateurs ever could. Frankly the LT/Treebeard pair alternating with "driveway Plumlees" rotation is a thing of beauty defensively, and as the bros Plum are growing into the role, I think we're just beginning to see where K is going with this rotation (including some needed offensive output). I am at the shaking my head, slapping my forehead, astounded point in watching this evolution. Same with Dre, who seems to on a development track that I am quite certain both he and the staff understand thoroughly whereas the rest of us have just been guessing at.

That being said. I don't think anyone will argue that this team has real limitations that will likely keep it from going all the way. What I do think needs to be said is that this coaching staff appears to be executing a plan this season a bit deeper than we can understand, and we are the lucky recipients of its success. I am thrilled with where we are, and hearing how close the seeding decisions were for the Selection Committee, the execution of this coaching staff's plan appears to have gone as well as we could have hoped (i.e., sorry Duke haters - this team and it's coach "earned" where they are in the NCAA bracket, and if they are guilty of anything, it is quietly understanding the selection process and exactly what they needed to do better than the lobbyists and complainers we have heard a lot from).

PS - by "lobbyist and complainers" I'm referring to folks like the Va Tech head coach (awwww) and UNC-CH types (envy is wanting someone else's possession, jealousy is wanting them to not have what you can't have), and not anyone on this site.

Posted by: Stephen Frazier Date: 3/15/2010 7:08:44 PM  
Matt - No, I am not worried about UAPB/Winthrop:)

All I am saying about Louisville is this is a tough matchup for us. You're right, we might not even have to play them, anything is possible. But I think Louisville is a better team than Cal, Miami, and GT (although not by much). And I think the Big East is a lot tougher than the ACC. Louisville won 11 games in the best conference in the nation with wins over syracuse and notre dame and close losses to pitt and wvu. They are a team that has been tested. Again, all I am saying is it's going to be a tough game.

So you don't think it's going to be a tough game against UL? If not, I think we'll have to agree to disagree about this one.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/15/2010 3:40:56 PM  
Stephen - - you worry a lot. Maybe we should worry about UAPB/Winthrop instead.

I saw, I would say, 75% (in the aggregate) of Louisville's two losses to Syracuse, meaning that I watched them. Did you get a chance to see the games, or did you rely on the box scores? Syracuse was totally out of rhythm both times, and the second time, they got a ridiculous, once-in-a-lifetime performance from total scrub Kyle Kuric, burying threes over the Orange zone. That's not going to happen against Duke's wing defense.

We didn't score a lot agaisnt Virginia because it was a low-possession affair. Miami was playing like an NCAA team in all three of their ACC-T games - - do you really contend otherwise? They will probably be a preseason Top 25 contender next year.

Louisville was led by Earl Clark and Terrence Williams last season - - two Neeba first-rounders, adn lost their best defensive guard and a third starter in Andre McGee. They're a totally different team, which is why they lost 12 games.

I agree that the Pac-10 was terrible this season, but Berkeley isn't bad. And they will certainly give LVL a game and are favored by Pomeroy to win.

Posted by: Stephen Frazier Date: 3/15/2010 2:56:42 PM  
I am worried about Louisville because we only scored 57 pts against Virginia (UVA, not even a bubble team). We only beat Miami by 3 pts....(Miami without Dwayne Collins and they weren't a bubble team). We only beat GT by 4pts (IMO, GT will be lucky to get out of the first round). The only team in that group that has talent close to that of Louisville is GT. And GT doesn't have the NCAA tournament experience that Louisville has. Louisville lost in the elite 8 last year to Mich. St. Samuels, Jennings, Knowles, Sosa, Smith, and Delk contributed to last year's team.

Did anyone see what Louisville did to Syracuse...twice? We should be worried about this team...this team is dangerous. This team passes the eye test. This team has been playing really tough competition in the Big East for the last two months. Let's face it, the ACC wasn't that good of a conference this year.

Against UCONN we won by 9; Against UCONN Louisville won by 13 in the first game and won by 2 the second game.

Against Georgetown we lost by 12 (and it could have been a lot worse); Against Georgetown they lost by 10.

Cal plays in the Pac 10...extremely weak conference...and they couldn't even win that tournament. Louisville should have no problem with Cal.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/15/2010 1:47:36 PM  
Josh - - you are nefarious and have stolen my thunder - - but I forgive you. :) When their bracket was announced last night, I was hysterical with laughter because I had been saving a certain edition title for them all season. The lyrical reference just fits perfectly. I don't think I can beat "Heelin' in the Tears" in the same season as far as a full parody, but you never know. Clearly, however, this year's title theme has been the most successful in TD history.

Posted by: KD Date: 3/15/2010 1:28:37 PM  
Conspiracy theory alert: I am getting hammered this morning with angry e-mails from the Duke haters in these parts claiming that we have paid off the Selection Committee to get such favorable treatment. While on paper you might be able to see their point, there are some really good teams in this bracket from the Big East and Big 12, and let's face it, those conferences make the ACC look pretty weak this year. Nevertheless, I like the matchups that may present themselves in this region. I am still feeling a little uneasy about the potential Louisville matchup, but I haven't seen them play much. Matt's thoughts below make sense and are making me feel a bit better.

Not sure if the Nova rematch is in the making. The "experts" seem to be all over the place on whether they are in free fall now given their lack of inside presence. But if we get that far and face them, I sure like our size advantage to help neutralize their potential advantage on the perimeter (although that might be a tossup).

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/15/2010 1:08:54 PM  
Wow. What a great weekend for our two prognosticators. I think this years' material was the best I've seen for an ACC-T in a while. Kudos gents. And a HUGE kudos to our boys for earning their first (I hope) post-season banner. A Final Four would be nice me thinks.

I am sad I wasn't as engaged this weekend as it was happening but my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and our whole family convened for a weekend party so I was without TV or internet for most of it. I had to settle with checking scores via my iPhone and ESPN News Radio.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank Al White for the props on the Canuck gold haul at the Olympics. Most Canadians were pretty proud of that (although some still thought it was impolite to have won so much, go figure).

As for the suggestion of taking your right-wing lunatics and filibuster, we already have enough problems, thank you very much! See "Canadian Government removes references to equal rights in its immigration materials", "Stephen Harper" and "prorogation". But you and duhomme are always welcome!

Posted by: Josh Date: 3/15/2010 12:46:11 PM  
In this year of Steely Dan songs, please tell me there is a "My Old School" parody coming for the Tools' NIT game. Oh, no! William and Mary won't do!

Posted by: Chris Date: 3/15/2010 12:13:52 AM  
My computer just crashed...sorry if my last post was incomplete. Great to pass UNC in tourney victories and tourney championships this week.

Living in SoCal and Pac-10 country, and having no life so watching an unbelieveable amount of basketball games, I have watched Cal at least 10 times and L'ville a number of times. I woud not bet on Cal to beat L'ville (remember Cal has Boykin starting) but I would also not be surprised. In any case, Duke should be able to beat either team pretty easily.

I do love that we are playing the winner of the "play-in game" because it gives me a reason to watch Tuesday night.

I am in Vegas Thursday - Sunday....betting Duke and San Diego State. On a side note, if anyone wants to read up on a great freshman that gets no press, look for K. Leonard at SDSU. Freshman of the year and first ever freshman to make all-MWC.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/14/2010 11:15:12 PM  
Dang, went and made last comments in the last post (I cannot believe Matt had gas left in the tank for this excellent write-up tonite!). Note to self - must pay more attention!

Posted by: tom Date: 3/14/2010 10:53:08 PM  
Nice weekend, no need to get into the stuff that has already been said. Been on the road and don't have a laptop so just trying to watch the games where I can. Always look forward to this time of year. Great job as always Guys.

Posted by: dan Date: 3/14/2010 10:31:24 PM  
Good bracket for Duke. Louisville's press this year is designed to use clock more than turn you over. Edgar Sosa has been up and down this year and Samardo Samuels is the only real threat inside, but as long as Zoubeck stays behind him and plays the angles he can be neutralized. Louisville plays a 2-3 zone and can't really defend man-to-man. Duke can shoot them out of the zone if any of the big 3 or Andre are on. Cal has some capable three point shooters but can't score inside. As long as Duke brings the defense they played in the ACC tournament, neither of these teams can stay with us. I think Duke gets through the first weekend without much trouble if they bring their game.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2010 10:15:49 PM  
Lots of Louisville fear here and at TDD. I'm not sure I see that at all. Pomeroy has them at #303 in the nation in opponents' offensive rebound percentage - - opponents get the bound on an astonishing 36.2% of their possessions. That number is really amazing. Their guards are tiny, they're average in FT% and 3PFG%, and Pomeroy has them with only a 36% chance of beating Berkeley. Berkeley is the much scarier club between the two - - but still isn't much case for worry. I'd be focusing on the Golden Bears, but if Duke can't beat either, we don't belong in the #1 seed pool.

Posted by: Dave Clark Date: 3/14/2010 8:28:33 PM  
Interesting bracket for Duke. That second round game is an absolute bear, but if Duke gets by that, then they get Utah State (no)/Siena (no)/Purdue (no)/aTm (not all that scary) in the Sweet 16, and the 2 and 3 are Nova (tanking) and Baylor (I mean, no way, right?). I give best odds at a Final Four run, and second-best at an unfortunate second-round exit, I suppose.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 3/14/2010 8:00:13 PM  
Jamal is a good kid, glad to see he found success at Cal.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2010 7:56:19 PM  
Also - - we have potential games against Jamal Boykin and Taylor King.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2010 7:43:46 PM  
IN GENERAL: Like the bracket a lot. I was very glad to see WVU elsewhere, and as the brackets were announced, was having trouble figuring out who our two seed would be. Finally I was like, well, Villanova has to be our three, but still couldn't dope out the identity of the two until it was announced. That team really closed weakly and I am thrilled, given the alternatives, to get another (prospective) crack at them this season.

THE GOOD: Playing the winner of the play-in game. It will be fun to watch the Dayton Game on Tuesday night as a scouting experience.

Having Villanova as our two seed, as mentioned. That's really, really easy.

Getting to play, if we make it that far, in Houston as opposed to Salt Lake City. I think that's good - - but see below.

Drawing generally weak teams in the rest of our bracket. I've been saying for weeks that Louisville would be our second-round game, but honestly, if we can't beat them or this season's Berkeley edition, we don't deserve to be in the Elite Eight, Final Four, or anything else. Sure, Pitino willl be tough and they play a zone, but other than the Syracuse wins, they beat almost no one, as pointed out below by Matt Jervey in his comments debut. Welcome, Matt! :)

THE BAD: Really, unless the potential Louisvbille matchup bothers you (and I think we'll be playing Berkeley, with a chance to avenge our second-round loss to them from 1993), the worst thing to come out of our bracket is the potential of playing Texas A&M in the third round, and Baylor in the fourth round, both in Houston. A&M, in particular, will travel well for that game, being so close by, and given that all they have to do is win two games against Utah State and (probably) Siena, I think they're a lock to be there. Baylor is less certain, and might not travel as well. But that is a disadvantage for us, clearly. Duke fans in Houston will need to get out and represent!!!!!!!

Posted by: duhomme Date: 3/14/2010 7:42:52 PM  
And there are those Greenberg-moving-to-St. Johns rumors. If that happens (please, please, please,please, please), I highly recommend the Va-Tech officials in charge of the hiring process by a copy of "Selecting a Classy and Effecting Coach for Dummies," available from at the UVA bookstore.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 3/14/2010 7:40:02 PM  
The upshot for Syracuse (if there is one) is that the 1st weekend is played in Buffalo. Hopefully that provides a strong home-court advantage.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2010 7:31:46 PM  
Before I get to Duke, one comment: bye, the Bald Bastard of Blacksburg! THE MESSAGE FROM THE COMMITTEE IS UNMISTAKABLE. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO GAME THE SELECTION PROCESS BY AMPING UP YOUR WIN TOTAL WITH OOC PASTRIES. Goony does this again and again and again and he just! Cannot! Figure! It out! Poor little guy! I try very hard not blow my own horn on this site, but I believe that I was virtually or totally unwavering in my belief that VPI would be excluded from the NCAAs - - certainly once they lost to Miami.

I am so glad the Selectostiffs did this! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm sure Fester's charming personality didn't tip the scales in his favor, either.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 3/14/2010 7:31:23 PM  
SF - In addition to what you have said, Louisville (at times) is an amazing 3 point shooting team. Could be a tough one indeed.

On the other side of the bracket, Nova or Baylor would be a formidable opponent, IMO. Even with Nova's recent slide.

Posted by: Matt Jervey Date: 3/14/2010 7:16:51 PM  
Very glad to see Ohio State and West Virginia elsewhere. Pitino will be tough, but they don't really have any good wins this year other than sweeping Syracuse. The only other tournament team they beat all year was Notre Dame, in an overtime win at home. Louisville did lose to Carolina this year, though - Western, that is.

Posted by: Stephen Frazier Date: 3/14/2010 7:05:32 PM  
Louisville likes to press and they play a good zone defense. Pitino is a good coach. I thought the first weekend would be a little easier.

Posted by: Josh Date: 3/14/2010 6:45:50 PM  
Well, you know the media will be hyping up the K vs. Pitino matchup in Round 2. At first glance, Louisville worries me a bit, the Sweet 16 matchup doesn't, and the Elite Eight game will be tough. I would love to spank Nova after last year, but they are good. Not sure what the committee was doing with the #1s and #2s. The #1 overall seed draws OSU and the #2 overall draws WVU? Don't get me wrong, I love that KU and UK have tough roads, but I would be pissed if I were a fan of those schools.

Good to see Duke back on the #1 line again. Now let's see them again in the Elite Eight and the Final Four!

Posted by: Steve!! Date: 3/14/2010 6:45:42 PM  
Looking at the brackets, I can't say that Duke's draw strikes me as overly difficult. Here's hoping that the Blue Devils can stay on a roll.

My biggest complaint is that since I have tickets to the tournament games in Milwaukee that Duke is playing on the same Friday/Sunday schedule.

I didn't see where UNC-CH ended up in the brackets. Did I miss them?

Posted by: duhomme Date: 3/14/2010 6:42:44 PM  
HA HA HA!!!!! The Blacksburg Berserker won't be coaching on a neutral floor. Again. Sales of kevlar basketball jerseys plummet.

Posted by: Andrew Hicks Date: 3/14/2010 6:32:07 PM  
First things first: Matt and duhomme, THANK YOU. This has been the best TwoDukies ACC tourney ever. Clutch writing, beginning to end. *** hums a few bars of "Smells like Heel spirit" ***

Not least, good recap here of this game. I agree with you that the box score is less indicative of what went on than usual. Duke simply played a strong, intelligent game to prevail over a team that is a lot better than they were through most of the regular season.

Were I coaching a top-ten team, I sure would not want to see Duke show up in my bracket. Senior leadership, great defense, size and strong rebounding, very difficult matchups to defend, "wild cards" off the bench in Andre and the Plumlees who could pull a Bootsy on you -- I have a suspicion, a hope maybe, that Andre is going to get in an Elite Eight or Final Four game and stroke about six threes in a row right when we need them. (Steve, I agree with your comment in the other thread; the LT - Z combo with the Plumlee Bros. coming in together works for me. As others have mentioned, Mason and Miles seem to be more effective when they are in at the same time)

And three big-time players, any one of whom can put the team on his back. I can't think of another team out there that has three guys like Singler, Scheyer, and Smith. If it comes down to a one-possession game, I would be very happy for any of them to take the shot.

Can we lose? Sure. We lost to Maryland not very many days ago; we could have lost today without that three from Scheyer and the clutch foul shots. But we are going to be competitive with anybody. Kansas, Ohio State, Kentucky, whoever. Bring 'em on!!!!

But not for a few days. This has been a very, very enjoyable eight days of basketball and I intend to enjoy it for a while. I am still walking on air with memories of the total beat-down of the Holes last week. And now, ACC champs!

Posted by: Josh Date: 3/14/2010 6:25:51 PM  
Through two regions, it looks like conference tournament performance was a point of emphasis this year...hence Duke getting the #3 overall seed and Minnesota getting in. I would be absolutely thrilled to see VPI sitting home again this year. Come on...

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