It’s funny how a team can go from being the number one seed most likely to lose first to “Goliath” in just a few weeks, isn’t it?
Well , here we are, Duke fans.
On the eve of one of the most unexpected title game births in Duke history, we stand as the consensus overdog after a tournament of being consistently picked to bow out game after game. The team we are facing, Butler, despite being on a 24 game winning streak, having a more impressive tournament showing and playing what will essentially be a home game, is being picked to win by virtually no one.
Duke has shown two extreme faces this year. For the positive one, you have only to look back as far as Saturday night, when the Big 3 were firing on all cylinders.That Duke team could beat anyone. For the flip side, I could refer you to any number of games, but most recently the UVA game in the ACC Tournament comes to mind. In that game we could not throw the ball in the ocean if we were standing on the beach and for a while we looked like we might not be able to pull it out. That Duke team could lose to anyone.
What Butler does well is play stingy defense.They rank 9th nationally in scoring scoring defense which makes them the best team we’ve played all year in that respect. They also feature a future NBA first rounder in Gordon Hayward and have a solid core of perimeter players that can really shoot. In other words, they have the ‘D’ to keep things close and enough talent offensively to put them over the top.
If you measure this game in terms of the two teams’ performances on Saturday, it looks pretty rosy for Duke. But that’s just it. In a lot of respects, Saturday might as well have never occurred. It’s now a one game season on the biggest stage imaginable and Duke is going to need everything they’ve got to bring home another trophy to Durham. I hope they have their shooting pants on tonight.
Go DUKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!