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NCAA-T Open Discussion Thread

Date: 3/12/2012

Duke Basketball  
Posted By: Matt

Please discuss anything related to the NCAA Tournament, or Duke in general, in the comments thread below.  Let's hear from some of you out there who have not posted in a while.  And please vote in the new poll (at the upper left of the page), which is the second in the series of polls to select the Dukies.com 2011-2012 ACC All-Overrated Team.  One spot on the crack squad has been filled, but four remain. 

Quick hits:

-Still nothing on Ryan Kelly.  Duke sources are claiming that there's "optimism" about his return on Friday, but to this point there's no definitive word. 

-Lehigh is not to be underestimated by any stretch of the imagination.  The Mountain Hawks hail from Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, about 60-65 miles due north from Philadelphia.  They won the Patriot League title and autobid with a road victory over Bucknell.  Their stat profile is troublesome, but their SOS is extremely weak.  

-I don't have too many problems with our draw.  It seems about right, actually.  We all knew we'd be with Kentucky (Battier's tweet to that effect was a riot - - so refreshing to have someone tell it like it is); the real concern is our suddenly moribund offense.  Xavier and Notre Dame are less than terrifying, but anyone, certainly including Lehigh, can beat us right now.    

-The Tools got a pretty fair draw, despite extensive message board consternation (from Duke fans) to the contrary.  

-NCSU, Virginia (for some reason) and Florida State all made the field.  FSU played its way all the way up to the three line and is a very trendy sleeper pick for the Final Four.  NCSU is a similarly stylish upset pick over SDSU in the first round, unless ACC zebroids do the game.  Some are picking Virginia to defeat Florida in the first round.   

-"First round" means the round of 64.  "Second round" means the round of 32.  I don't care what the NCAA calls them.

-MIFL accepted an NIT bid and even wangled a two seed, so they'll get two home games at the Conversation Center if they keep winning.  MDCP wanted a NIT bid desperately, but the phone didn't ring.  No ACC team was desperate enough to accept a bid from the CBI or that silly CIT, so that's our postseason field - -  six teams.

-I got a kick out of the NCAA, which owns the NIT, extending a bid to the Hurryclowns just days after its private dicks yanked Durand Scott out of the ACC Tournament.  Isn't there something wrong with this picture? 

Please, discuss.  I look forward to your comments.  



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Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/17/2012 12:18:44 PM  
We have reports of a Karl Hess spotting in Pittsburgh!

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/15/2012 10:31:29 PM  
If I had an iPhone (I'm a Samsung/Android person), I'd order it to self-destruct and take all other iPhones, or at least their advertising, with it.

BTW, tom, the lane violation was absolutely the right call. You can't run in from beyond the three-point arc like the Asheville guard did until the ball hits the rim; if you could, there would be no point having anyone on the block. However, the non-goaltend in the first half, and the egregious blown OOB call, may very well have cost NCA somewhere between three and four points, and probably the game.

Posted by: CDG Date: 3/15/2012 10:28:55 PM  
Great day of games, and even better board here! First time in my life where I have a perfect bracket heading into the 10pm zone. Ironically, it's the bracket I don't have Duke winning it all in (usually what I call my "nonpartisan" bracket). Heh.

Matt - I would actually enjoy a thread on here about Coach K. I don't have much in the way of "expertise" like some of our esteemed friends here, and my perceptions tend to be of the "obvious" kind, but even I think there is something to talk to there. Maybe it's the dog/owner or girlfriend/boyfriend syndrome in that he looks lackluster because his team does???? Anyways, I would love to read the thread if posted.

In relation to Duke: Baylor did not look that great. I'm not saying we will go far necessarily, but we haven't been "screwed" like many people I know have said. As today's results have proven - the Selectostiffs did a pretty good job this year.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/15/2012 9:14:40 PM  
Ahaa...good one, Tom.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/15/2012 9:05:38 PM  
Beginning to think Boeheim is tired of this season with everything that's been going on. The lane violation and out of bounds call were really bad. I'm not saying that UNCA would have won but it would have given them more of a chance. Oh well.
Hey, did you guys know there's a new Apple Iphone out? "From now on call me Rock God" "Okay, I will call you "Cock God" "That's not what I freakin said!"

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/15/2012 8:57:11 PM  
....After the game, UNC-Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach told reporters he thought his squad was the better team on Thursday. Jim Boeheim was told of those comments and asked to respond. "That's what they make scoreboards for," he said.....

After defending HIMSELF against the molestation and suspension with his horrible quotes, the above just puts the exclamation to the word "ASSHOLE!"

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/15/2012 7:16:39 PM  
And a good one, Tom!

Yep, I've been in front of the TV all day and would say that there are approximately 10-12 commercials being used more than once or twice per telecast between the four networks, and those are showing up about 4-5 times each per two-hour slot. Of those, about two have any repeat watchability.

On TNT, though, I can watch Jessy Schramm deliver the "they didn't expect . . . resistance . . . on this level" line from Falling Skies, even if they cut it, about four kajilion times before tiring.

Add "benefiting from an outrage-inspiring NCAA Tournament referee hose job" to the list of Syracuse's interesting events this season.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/15/2012 7:06:11 PM  
"ad nauseum" Hey, a double entendre

Posted by: tom Date: 3/15/2012 7:05:40 PM  
Games have been decent to watch today. I've been watching while slowly cleaning my house. I'm actually getting more done since I'm not drinking beer while cleaning. But I've noticed the commercials are already in repeat motion. They are showing that internet commercieal for microsoft and the spandau ballet one ad nauseum.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/15/2012 10:18:31 AM  
"It's the Internet version of a small (real small) neighborhood pub"

Lord, if the site would dispense draught beer, I'd never leave!

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/15/2012 9:58:27 AM  
And Mark and others - - thanks. It's the Internet version of a small (real small) neighborhood pub but I'm glad you folks like it.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/15/2012 9:57:45 AM  
TRT - - right. Starts to feel like a lack of institutional control after a while.

Someday someone will explain to me how a website can get 12,000 unique visits in three days but only have 46 people vote in a poll that is right on its front page. Geez. VOTE IN THE POLL PLEASE??

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/14/2012 8:11:24 PM  
This is a fun group to discuss Duke basketball with, and you've had a great season, Matt. Hopefully you've got your workload sorted to a sustainable level?

As to the "meh" that many of us seem to share. To me, it goes back to Kyrie's injury. I have never been so certain of a repeat with some of my all-time fav's playing with a kid good enough to be rookie of the year in the NBA. And then the reinvented team with Nolan at the helm was almost as good, and I still thought were the favorites, though no longer certain. And then, through nobody's fault, he came back, and that final team was the lessor of the three.

NC State firing Valvano did it to me for almost two decades. What happened to Kyrie and last season was the one season "meh" for me. I hope it's back next year.

The compelling stories for me this tourney? State winning 2 or 3 games, and FSU having a shot at going deep. Duke? W/Kelley, S16 is expected. W/O, I hope we get past the first round. Meh.

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 3/14/2012 3:41:52 PM  
Re : Syracuse. Jim Boeheim can keep saying "I had absolutely no knowledge of that" only so long. After a while it starts to look like he doesn't know what is going on with his program.

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 3/14/2012 2:08:44 PM  
matt, you know i've been here years, and i will say it again: this is the best website for duke basketball. hands down.

also, this year has been one of the most enjoyable for me personally. the Led Zep themed season is my favorite.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/14/2012 12:22:21 PM  
I have a feeling he won't play against Lehigh. Wonder what part of the foot he sprained. That's different from an ankle I'm assuming.

Also, I did watch the 1991-92 in review on Tru last Sunday. My favorite parts were when the players were interacting with the current members. I don't about you guys but I would love to see Christian Laettner as an assistant. You think the Duke hate is bad enough now? However, the bad pub he's getting with he and Brian Davis's sports agency in litigation is making a lot of headlines. Which we know the Hole press just loves. John Edwards and Mike Nifong say Hi guys.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2012 8:34:07 AM  
Finally, the wall comes down about Ryan Kelly. Thanks also to TRT for his link earlier.


Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2012 5:09:52 AM  
Oh, and not that this, or the first part of it at least, has to do with the NCAA Tournament, but

(a) Aren't you glad that we don't have solid citizens like Glen Rice Jr. on our team? He may actually be headed for prison.

(b) Perhaps Official Syracuse Guy can offer an explanation that makes sense, but I am increasingly horrified by the state of affairs with the Orange. Bernie Fine, the drug allegations, and now Melo ineligible. Boeheim has managed to stay above the melee so far, but these are a lot of hits for a program to take in a short space of time. I'm dumbfounded.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/14/2012 5:06:34 AM  
Wow. Now THIS is a comment thread! Some of the most intelligent Duke basketball discussion I've seen in a long time, folks. I believe I will start a new post on whether Krzyzewski did a good coaching job or not this season. Of course, I'm somewhat hesitant to do that while the season is still going on, both for superstitious reasons and because current events can affect the substance of the debate.

I completely understand the views of those of you who - - to oversimplify your views a bit, with apologies - - aren't entirely comfortable with this Duke team. Up until a few games before The Dagger, I didn't much like several things about Rivers. But he seemed to change his attitude and won me over.

As it stands now, I am not as much of a fan as I'd like to be of Mason Plumlee or Andre Dawkins. Neither one seems to be putting in any effort whatsoever, and it's baffling. I think the blame has to land at Krzyzewski's door, but he can't control everything.

Watch Rivers jump and Mason come back. Oh, joy!

Thanks so much for the responses, folks. Please keep talking.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/13/2012 10:45:43 PM  
I agree with LD and SFSF in the fact that this year has been a very hard Duke team to warm up to and I second the "meh" as far as the season goes. I was excstatic after AR's game winner over the holes and felt the team was jelling and could really do something but the inconsistancy was still there. Who will be the lead scorer in Friday's game and who will not show up? Of course I'm hoping they make it to at least the sweet 16 if not further.

Posted by: Jake Date: 3/13/2012 8:50:43 PM  
Re: Coaching:

I guess I'm surprised there hasn't been an obvious change to the game plan/strategy in the last month. Other than the really fine game our guys had against FSU in Fla., we've seemed lost on offense. As if we keep waiting for the reappearance of the 3-point shot to save us, but it never comes.

Yet when we try to get the ball into the paint and try to push the ball up court good things seem to happen. And still we keep reverting to the strategy of dribbling the ball around the perimeter until we can throw up a bad three-ball shot.

I just keep thinking the coaches will come up with something new rather than sticking with what clearly is not working.

I hope for the best, but I said at the beginning of the year -- even when we were over-achieving (as opposed to our under-achieving of the last three or four weeks) -- that we would not get past the second round, third at best in the NCAA tourney.

It's really a shame in the sense that we were ranked way too high nationally for much of the year, which set up unreasonable expectations about what we might achieve in the post-season.

I keep hoping I'm wrong. And I'll cheer on our team till the end.

Posted by: London Dukie Date: 3/13/2012 8:10:32 PM  
The comments about K here echo what I have been hearing from my other Duke friends - some think he has done a really good job getting this team (which I think we all agree is not the most talented or cohesive of his squads) to 28-6 (or whatever the exact record is - CBA to look it up), and others feel he has turned in a below-average performance and failed to play to the team's strengths.

Another consistent theme is the difficulty of warming to this club (as expressed by SFSF and others). Maybe it's because the teams from the last couple of years were so easy to support (Nolan remains one of my favourite Duke players ever, and how can you not love the Zoubek narrative?) that this one suffers by comparison. Maybe it's because this team doesn't give the impression of always giving 100%, especially on defence. Whatever the reason, even my most fanatical friends are a bit "meh" about this team.

I said at the beginning of the season that making the Sweet 16 would be a successful year, and nothing has changed my mind. And I think I would rather go out in the 16 then get to the 8 and have Kentucky blow us out, which is a very realistic possibility. Unless that would involve us losing to UNLV in the 16 - don't much fancy that option either!

Posted by: Dave Date: 3/13/2012 7:34:14 PM  
Actually seems pretty fair, especially with getting to stay in Greensboro. And while I wasn't shocked to see UK (both from a storyline and from a screw Duke standpoint), the rest are just...after a while, you can gin up a story with almost any team and Duke. It just is what it is.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/13/2012 7:24:43 PM  
PS - felt like total bad guy voting for Mason, and was shocked when the current results came up to see I was not the only one.

Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 3/13/2012 7:21:34 PM  
Fair brackets. You can't come up with a combination that doesn't have Duke likely out after 1 or 2 wins. UNC will have to play well to advance, and they aren't looking like a Championship team anyways. The team I could never warm to (in spite of "the Shot") has turned into the Tourney I can't warm to. Kelly has absolutely no impact on this feeling, either way. I'm actually more excited about NCSU (my alma mater) and FSU than Duke or UNC this year.

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 3/13/2012 4:54:49 PM  
Minor Kelly news. Still close to the vest.


Posted by: Matt Date: 3/13/2012 10:28:58 AM  
Tom, besides the years you mentioned (1998, 2001, and 2012), Kentucky was also in our bracket in 1994, 2005, and 2007. In 2010 both schools were one seeds; if the seeds had held, Duke would have met them in the Final Four. Our seed held, anyway. :)

So they do this a lot. They also set up a lot of Duke-Connecticut matchups. It's a little bit of a pathology, but you can also say that Duke and Kentucky make it pretty easy on them by giving them lots of opportunities to be slated against each other.

This season, I wasn't stunned by the Duke/Kentucky thing, or the second-round prospective Notre Dame game. Both Ron Wellman (Wake's AD) and Joe Alleva (our former AD whose ouster Krzyzewski at the most engineered, at the least didn't fight) were on the committee, so slating Duke against Kentucky and making Krzyzewski play one of his former assistants were probably fun for them.

Fats, I don't think it's very hard to get nine other people to go along with any particular line of thinking if one member of a ten-person group feels strongly about anything. Juries operate pretty similarly.

However, I agree with what Fats says about there being a few too many storylines out there for Duke NOT to have any given committee stumble into several of them. We've made lots of tourneys and had lots of success. I actually didn't even think of the Xavier factor until Tom mentioned it, even though I was at that game personally! I also didn't think about UNLV in that manner - - talk about a program that has seen a few changes in the last 20 or so seasons. Baylor, sure, but we also would have had storylines of sorts against Georgetown and even Marquette (regular season, not tournament), the other three seeds. We could not have been paired with Florida State. I think that was just coincidence.

The real shock is that this is the best job I can remember the Selectostiffs doing in ages and ages. Moreover, our bracket is fair and NCCH's is not a total walk. Anyway, got to play the games.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/13/2012 9:25:44 AM  
"And this is what the comittee does. They try to play into some sort of revenge factor."

I really don't think they do. Too many people (really, it's committee work) working with too much data/too many variables in too short a time.

If you look at others seeds, in other regions you can draw similar patterns if Duke had been slotted there. It's partly that the same programs are often consistent, and it's partly that Duke has 70+ wins in the tournament under K. That's a lot of vengeance possibilities, particularly if you're going back 20 years, AND including the regular season...

Posted by: Tom Date: 3/12/2012 9:53:46 PM  
Yeah, I thought it was a clever move hiding Kelly's status for the ACC tourney to send mixed signals to the committee. It may help disrupt opponents game plans somewhat to keep him out until the second round, if we can get past Lehigh. I do think the defense is starting to gel, but unfortunately our offense stirs about as much excitement as the Chevy Volt.

Have to agree with the opinion on K this year. It seems like he couldn't find the right mix to get this group to solidify. There have been flashes, but then we get games like that inexplicable blow-out against the Holes.

Regarding our transfers, Matt did a great job updating us on the recent losses. Here's a take on the transfers dating back a bit further:


Anyway, I feel oddly optimistic about this week-end. Notre Dame looked like garbage in the Big East tourney, and there's no reason a team like Lehigh should challenge us. I'd be happy to take on UK and send that Cretin Calipari back to the drawing board for another team of one-and-dones.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/12/2012 9:44:27 PM  
ABSOLUTELY no Kelly news today. Sigh. So tired of this Iron Curtain crap. Just tell us the truth about the kid already.

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/12/2012 9:16:06 PM  
Dan, thanks for the comment. I agree with most of the bracket thoughts.

However, it's just like Feinstein to say that this was one of best coaching jobs ever by Krzyzewski. John doesn't follow the program all that closely these days, and it shows when he makes comments like that. This was a below-average coaching effort by Krzyzewski, and it wasn't even close. I've held off holding forth on that topic, but I might stop.

Thanks very much for the comments. There's no need to agree with me or hold site-popular opinions in order to post. As long as everyone is civil, differences of opinion are interesting.

Posted by: tom Date: 3/12/2012 8:38:20 PM  
Man, I don't know what to think. Duke's bracket, has Xavier, UK, Baylor, and UNLV. The first three are teams Duke beat to get to the final four and the last one we all know about. The last time Duke played Notre Dame in 2002 it was down to the wire. And this is what the comittee does. They try to play into some sort of revenge factor. Battier is no idiot. He sees it. They put UK in Dukes bracket in 2001. Did the same thing last year with Arizona. Media gets hold of it and Viola. Hey Matt, since 1992 how many times has UK been in Duke's bracket? I can think of 98, 01, and 12 off the top of my shaved head.
I was hoping for the East. Dicky V says Duke will play UK in the elite 8. If they get that far I'll be ecstatic. The offense has really dissapeared. Maybe K got them so focused on the defense part they forgot the offense. IMHO, UNC has a cakewalk. I will not be surprised to see KU choke it against Saint Mary's in the second round. Leaving Creighton as the toughest team for them to play on their way to the final four.
And I do hate it when Duke and UNC play in the same venue the first two rounds and UNC plays first so that the fans can hang out and boo. There's a Hole FTOS (fat tub of sh..t) fan that I work with whom I will not be surprised will be there wearing a Lehigh T shirt.
And also, we get to see the articles about what players or games from Duke everybody hates. Same crap every year. Of course, as a fan I love the hate but at the same time, it's greatly stretched and makes writers whom nobody cares about, prominent figures (Gregg Doyel, Josh Levine, Israel Guiterezz).
Finally, I have Thursday and Friday off. So I can relax and enjoy the games because there will be upsets. Hey, Norfolk St has a chance on Mizzou. You never know.
We'll just have to see what happens and go from there.

Posted by: Dan Smith Date: 3/12/2012 2:40:58 PM  
This may not be a popular comment on here, but this is my take. I called into John Feinstein's show on XM today and asked for we got ranked no.6. He and I agreed with him said that was about right only. Miami was the only team we lost to that did not make the tourney. He also said that this might be K's best coaching job, esp if they make the round oh 16 or 8. As much as I hate to say this we are not a very good team this year. We might have over achieved.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 3/12/2012 2:18:50 PM  
I agree with the "about right" draw. Duke certainly didn't earn any favors lately, and RPI notwithstanding, at present is prolly the weakest of the two seeds. I'd say as far as the whole field goes--and I'm really just talkin' out my *** here--the committee did one of the best jobs they've done.

I suspect every game (as long as that lasts, and it may end Friday) will be horrifyingly uncomfortable for us. A chance for the sweet sixteen, but I think by 3 games, there is no way the luck doesn't run out. Hoping Dawk's good game is coming up very soon, or else it won't happen til next season.

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