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Posts Tagged ‘Duke Blue Devils’

Shelden Williams Must Be Happy Duke is Playing

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…Because I’m not sure what else got into him on that dunk he threw down over Ronny Turiaf. It’s not like Williams has the safety net of gaudy NBA production to call on, or well, something — anything — to indicate he will attack the rim in such fashion.

Or if he’s even interested in doing so.

That being said, Williams is averaging almost seven points and eight rebounds for the Denver Nuggets, so there is some evidence of production. Still, it’s surprising to see Williams dunk so authoritatively, which leads to the belief he’s just happy his Blue Devils are back in action, and looking good in the process.

I like to think Williams yelled “Seth Curry On A Bitch” when he threw it through.

Maryland Fans Still Love Duke, Jay Williams

Jay Williams Tweet

While ESPN goes out of their way to convince us Duke/Carolina is the end-all, be-all of college basketball rivalries, the recently buzzer-beater-granted Maryland Terrapins and Duke have had some barn-burners as well; and hey, any rivalry that produces a quality sign like this has to be awesome. That’s why the lead tweet from former Blue Devil Jay Williams really comes as no surprise.

In case you missed it, Williams’ NBA career was cut short by a nasty motorcycle wreck, and because of that, one could imagine he wouldn’t take kindly to such comments. Fortunately, the barbs didn’t seem to bother Williams, at least while his employer — ESPN — was watching.

So while college football fans get most of the attention, thanks in large part to ESPN’s College GameDay/Everybody-Bring-Your-Sign show, college basketball fans aren’t shy about sharing their feelings towards opponents, either.

H/t to Jamie Mottram for pointing this out.

Duke Reigns At the Top

Duke Blue Devils

The AP released their preseason Top 25 poll today, and as expected, the team from Durham, North Carolina is at the top of their list. This should come as no surprise, considering the squad Coach K has on his hands. Besides names like Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, there’s an infusion of young talent with names like Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry. Not only is Duke the reigning National Champs, they’re also the favorite to win it again in 2011 (6-1 odds).

The Blue Devils also received 55 first place votes (out of 65). Michigan State received eight and Kansas State closed it out with two. This also comprises your top three, and for K-State, it’s their highest preseason ranking ever. Some, however, disagree with that version of Wildcats being ranked so high. Good thing college basketball decides these things on the court.

Anyway, your 2010/11 Preseason Top 25:

1. Duke (55)
2. Michigan State (8)
3. Kansas State (2)
4. Ohio State
5. Pittsburgh
6. Villanova
7. Kansas
8. North Carolina
9. Florida
10. Syracuse
11. Kentucky
12. Gonzaga
13. Illinois
14. Purdue
15. Missouri
16. Baylor
17. Butler
18. Washington
19. Memphis
20. Georgetown
21. Virginia Tech
22. Temple
23. Tennessee
24. BYU
25. San Diego

The conference breakdown is as follows:

ACC – three teams (Duke, Carolina, Virginia Tech)
Big 10 – four teams (Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue)
Big 12 – four teams (Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, Baylor)
Big East – four teams (Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown)
SEC – three teams (Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee)
Pac-10 – one team (Washington)

Which leaves six “non-BCS” schools in the top 25, including Gonzaga, Butler, Memphis, Temple, BYU and San Diego State.

Mark Ingram To Play Against Duke

Mark Ingram

When the Alabama Crimson Tide travel to play the Duke Blue Devils this weekend, it will be with a full team. Word is, last season’s Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, will take the field for the first time this season, after recovering from recent knee surgery. Yes, that’s right: Alabama’s workhorse running back had knee surgery a couple of weeks ago and is still going to play. This season.

Balls, son. Balls.

Nick Saban addressed the return of his stud running back at his weekly press conference and he sounds quite confident Ingram will be ready to roll:

The important quote follows:

“Mark is doing extremely well, hadn’t had any issues or problems has done quite a bit in practice”

While Duke’s chances probably weren’t that good before the news of Ingram’s return broke, I’d say they’re even worse now. But hey, does Saban get credit for going on the road to play a team that has been historically terrible, but under David Cutcliffe’s tutelage, has improved over the last few seasons? Or is this a case of Alabama scheduling out-of-conference cream puffs? It should be noted that in the first two games of the season, the Blue Devils have put 89 combined points on the board.

Granted, they haven’t played a defense as talented as Alabama’s, but you never know. Maybe Sean Renfree has the game of his lifetime and puts a ton of pressure on the Crimson Tide to score. Unfortunately for Renfree, Bama defensive end Marcell Dareus is also returning to the field after serving a two-game suspension. Ingram or no, the fact that Dareus will be on the field can’t be good news for the Blue Devils.

Duke Winning = Order?

Duke Ad

Dear Nike,

You aren’t helping me get past the whole “Why I Hate Duke” disposition I’ve lived with since 1993. In fact, you’re only making it worse with the new print ads celebrating Duke’s National Championship. In fact, the Duke ad makes me feel an awful lot like this:

I’m not sure if alienating everybody but Duke fans is the best marketing strategy, but then again, Nike doesn’t care about whose fur it ruffles. They simply want us to react, just like the new Tiger Woods commercial. With that in mind, congratulations are in order to Phil Knight and his band of merry men; because people are indeed reacting — although, no one likes being reminded of the arrogance surrounding the Duke basketball program, perceived or otherwise.

Your friends at

Why I Hate Duke, Part 2


Currently, one of my favorite Internet memes is the “Haters Gon Hate” reply given pretty much anytime someone doesn’t like an event’s outcome. Bitching about the winners is the act of a hater, and with that in mind, allow the following pictorial to further demonstrate why I’m considered a Duke hater — and as such, it wouldn’t be prudent of me to not hate, given the outcome of the Duke/Butler final game.

(Why, oh, why, dear Basketball Gods, did you not allow Hayward’s final shot fall? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!) Now that I got that Jonathan Davis moment out of my system, let’s delve further into why hating Duke is just so awesome:

The pictorial begins after the jump >>

Why I Hate Duke

Christian Laettner

With the Duke Blue Devils making perhaps an unexpected return to the Final Four, some members of the mainstream media have begun championing their cause, at least, in a way. More to the point, they are trying to get to the bottom of what they perceive as an unnatural hate for the Blue Devils, while saying those feelings probably aren’t necessary.

Fortunately for me, my reason is covered and excused by Gregg Doyel, but allow me to reiterate to those who might not be aware — I can sum up my dislike for Duke with three words:

Christian Donald Laettner

More insight after the jump >>

The 2010 Four is Final


The Butler Bulldogs Come Home; or Tom Izzo is as Constant as the Northern Star (When it comes to the Tournament); or Duke’s Back; or Is it Huggins’ Time? Either of these headlines would work when describing this year’s Final Four teams. To say this was an unexpected group is an understatement.

A lot of people expected Duke — the only number one seed to make it this far — to get beat in the earlier rounds by teams like Louisville or Baylor, while Butler is still shedding its “mid-major” label. West Virginia looks legitimate, but their lack of offensive pop — they’ve notoriously struggled to score in both the Big East and NCAA Tournaments — makes their appearance a little surprising. As for Michigan State, even with Tom Izzo as coach, the fact the Spartans lost their best player in Kalin Lucas to a hamstring injury makes them a surprise team as well.

Considering these teams, the hype surrounding the 2010 Final Four may not be as big as previous seasons, but don’t tell any of the attending teams that. I seriously doubt Duke or Butler care about whether or not they were popular picks. Furthermore, I also doubt any of Bob Huggins’ players doubt they belong, strictly because of how clutch the Mountaineers have been, not to mention how good they’ve been defensively. As for Michigan State, well, they have Tom Izzo, and that alone makes them a threat for a deep tournament run, whether non-Spartans fans are tired of seeing them there or not.

This is your Final Four, and while they may not be the most popular teams out there, each and every one of them deserve to be there. Nothing was handed to any of the teams. They all had to earn their trip, something the average victory margin of 5.5 points for all of the Elite Eight games indicates nicely.

With all that in mind, who ya got?

Are you siding with Butler and their awesome story, or do you want to see Izzo win his second title? Can Duke solve West Virginia’s stifling 1-3-1 zone or will Duke take advantage of any Mountaineers scoring droughts? These are just some of the stories to pay attention to as we get ready for another weekend of tournament basketball.