Saturday, March 22, 2008

NCAA Saturday: Duke Eliminated By WVU!
Has the NCAA Tournament Passed Duke By?

I have to admit it: My favorite game in the NCAA Tournament... the game that Duke loses

When it happens in the first weekend of the tournament, it is so sweet. When it happens to a team doing all the little things Duke usually does -- clutch 3s, great D, benefiting from the refs -- it is all the sweeter. What an unbelievably played game by West Virginia.

And when I predict it on my bracket, it is the sweetest of all. (And begins to slightly make up for my atrocious Friday picks. No: More than slightly. A lot more: Duke loses! Yes!!!)

With back-to-back season where they are booted in the first weekend -- no matter how successful they were in the regular season -- it is time to wonder whether college hoops has passed Duke and Coach K by.

Certainly NCAA Tournament hoops, where Duke's lack of size (or, at least, interior toughness) and speed from the point guard (evident against VCU a year ago, Belmont on Thursday night and again this afternoon, against WVU's back-up PG) becomes glaringly obvious.

But that is a discussion for Monday and a second consecutive extra-long offseason for Duke fans.

For now, it is time to celebrate West Virginia, celebrate a Sweet 16 without the insufferable Duke slurping and, after my worst-ever first-round bracket picks, celebrate a big, big pick.

-- D.S.

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