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Morning Links: Now We Know Where That Duke Tuition Money is Going

Duke’s Countdown to Craziness event last weekend not only gave fans their first glimpse at freshman stud Kyrie Irving and transfer Seth Curry, but a first look at the Blue Devils’ championship rings from 2010. And goodness gracious, that thing is loaded with diamonds. (Compensate much?)

And sure, it’s pretty standard fare for teams that win an NBA title or a Super Bowl, but compared to North Carolina’s last year or Kansas’ in 2008, well… let’s just say it’s not doing anything to help change the negative perception that Duke is a rich kids’ school. Someone better warn the team not to wear those things out and about in Durham or there’s going to be a Duke robbery unseen since Harrison Barnes committed to UNC. (And yes, this is just me being bitter about Duke winning the title and me still having to write about it, thus the numerous backhanded jabs.)

[Update: as several people have already pointed out in the comments, by rule a team can’t spend more than $415 on a championship ring, thus the bling must be cubic zirconia - I was unaware of this rule. Kind of makes the ring funny, actually, but really just points out that I am an idiot. I apologize, and encourage readers to assumeI could be wrong at any moment from here out. Thanks for your patience, and carry on.]

Elsewhere on the internets:

  • Speaking of Harrison Barnes, columnist Gary Parrish is anointing him the Preseason Player of the Year, tall order for a kid who hasn’t played a game in college yet. Barnes makes the Preseason All-American first team along with Duke’s Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, while Kyrie Irving lands on the third team. Here’s hoping he’s right on some of those predictions…
  • Looks like that broken leg will spell the end of the season for TE Zack Pianalto, bad news for a Carolina offense where he was the most consistent receiving threat for TJ Yates. Mark it down - they will definitely miss him.
  • The Dagger handed out their first ever Midnight Madness Awards, and UNC gets a little love for their version of the Dougie, doing “the Snuggie.”
  • Not to be outdone, Duke also gets a hat tip for Miles Plumlee’s heel-flick dunk shown from Duke’s celebration below, but looks like Buffalo’s Mitchell Watt one-ups the Duke effort by making the same dunk a one-man process. (I stand behind my rating of the Plumlee dunk as “Meh.” So there, Dukies.)
  • It appears CB Kendric Burney has been cleared by the UNC Honor Court and will play vs. Miami this weekend. (Update: Just kidding! It appears such is not the case - still some issues to sort out.)