Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Duke funkiness in the NCAAs

Here's your bracketology lesson for NEXT year: if you pick against
Duke, pick the Blue Devils' vanquisher to go to the Final Four if Duke
loses in the Sweet 16.

Since the Krzyzewski era started, Duke has been to 21 NCAA Tournaments.
That run includes 10 Final Fours and three championships. Duke has 18
NCAA Tournament losses under Coach K and they break down like this:
four national title games ('86, '90, '94, '99), three national
semifinals ('88, '89, '04), one regional final ('98), one first round
game ('96), four second-round games ('84, '85, '93, '97) and, most
importantly, five Sweet 16 games. Those Sweet 16 losses were to
Indiana ('87, '02), Florida ('00), Kansas ('03) and Michigan State
('05). Each of those teams avoided a letdown (except '87 Indiana, a
prohibitive favorite) and won its regional final two days later! Duke
has made it to the last eight Sweet 16s (1998-2005, inclusive). So if
you're picking against Duke in next year's tourney, and you have it
going to the Sweet 16, pick its conqueror to continue to the Final

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