TSB’s Monday Fodder

First, TSB says Congrats to Virginia Tech! Your 2010 ACC Football Champions! After a hiccup and a throw up the Hokies accumulated 11 straight victories, culminating in Tyrod Taylor’s four-touchdown performance Saturday night in a 44-33 win over No. 20 Florida State for its third Atlantic Coast Conference title in four years.

In other college football news, NC based schools got some pretty good bowl games.  NC State is going to the Champ Sports Bowl where they’ll play West Virginia, the #1 team in the Big East. Tennessee may have backed out of the series with UNC but they’re not backing out of  the Music City Bowl where this Border-Battle will be the first since 1961. And the Pirates will invade an 8-4 Maryland team in their back yard for the Military Bowl.

Continue reading TSB’s Monday Fodder

He’s Coming Back: Singler Stays With The National Champs

By Duke Photography
By Duke Photography

“I love being here at Duke and am excited about next year.” “I had two great options in front of me, but I did not want to miss out on all of the great things to come in a senior season.”

The Devils will also enjoy the return of the unsung hero Nolan Smith making the nation’s most productive trio last season yielding a loss of only one after Jon Scheyer’s departure. In addition enter Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, the highly touted Kyrie Irving, the brothers Plumlee and now with a Singler return, a preseason #1 ranking for Duke is likely.

I’ll smoke one to that….

Even Congressmen Hate Duke

North Carolina representative David Price yesterday offered up a resolution in the US House of Representatives this week congratulating Duke on winning the 2010 NCAA Championship. Not a big deal. This sort of thing is routine. Price did the same for UNC last season.  What was interesting about it was the voting. The resolution congratulating UNC as the 2009 champions(H.Res. 348) was passed 423-0 with ten members not voting. H. Res. 1242 which recognizes the Blue Devils for accomplishing the same feat this season passed 390-0 with 28 members not voting and 12 members voting present? In other words, 12 members of the House of Representatives could not bring themselves to congratulate Duke on winning the title and since voting “no” would look bad the opted to simply vote present.  In case you were wondering who the 12 were:

IA-1    Braley, Bruce [D]
CA-18    Cardoza, Dennis [D]
PA-10    Carney, Christopher [D]
TN-5    Cooper, Jim [D]
CT-2    Courtney, Joe [D]
OR-4    DeFazio, Peter [D]
MD-4    Edwards, Donna [D]
WI-8    Kagen, Steve [D]
MD-1    Kratovil, Frank [D]
NY-25    Maffei, Daniel [D]
VA-2    Nye, Glenn [D]
MN-8    Oberstar, James [D]

According to folks on the IC message board, Jim Cooper is a UNC grad and worked for the Daily Tar Heel. I am not sure why the rest could not vote yes..well except for the two representatives from Maryland. Getting reelected is tough enough, the last thing a representative from Maryland needs is a 30 second attack ad criticizing a “yes” vote congratulating Duke.

The exodus begins – and other news

And so it begins at Kentucky as four freshmen have declared for the NBA draft. As expected, John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, who were expected to be one-and-done guys anyway, made themselves eligible for the draft.

From the not-so-much category are two other Kentucky freshmen, guard Eric Bledsoe and center Daniel Orton. Bledsoe is a quick guard who averaged 11 points while making a mark as a three-point shooter, but declaring for the draft? Really? Orton, meanwhile, was a decent defender but averaged just over 3 points and 3 rebounds a game, or roughly the same as Travis Wear. According to the AP article, “Orton said going against Patterson and Cousins in practice each day helped him believe he could make it in the NBA.” Yeah, right.

But there’s one developing wrinkle – apparently junior forward Patrick Patterson hasn’t officially decided to leave yet, despite UK saying he’s outta here. Yahoo’s The Dagger blog reports that the press release announcing Patterson’s departure came as a shock to Patterson’s mother, who maintains that he has not made a decision yet, but interestingly, UK maintains he has.

With the departure of three seniors, that makes at least seven and possibly eight players leaving the UK program. John Calipari had been telling players at the McDonald’s game that he had 8 players leaving, so I guess he was trying to do some one-stop shopping, since there were an unbelievable seven unsigned players at the game. Kentucky only has one signee and one other commitment at this point, but I’m sure Cal has World Wide Wes on the job. I wonder if this revolving door and soap opera is what Big Blue Nation had in mind when they sold their soul to get this guy. Otherwise, the winningest program in college hoops could find out how life was this season for the second-winningest program in college hoops, but without the national championships in the past five years.

In other college hoops news:

* Kansas’ Xavier Henry became the Jayhawks’ first-ever one-and-done player and will join junior Cole Aldrich in this year’s draft. Losing those two and senior Sherron Collins will test Bill Self’s ability to reload in Lawrence.

* Apparently Wake Forest’s recruits found out that Dino Gaudio had been sacked through Ron Wellman’s press conference. I commented elsewhere that Wellman is an extraordinary AD and that there must be reason to can Gaudio just one season after extending him. The fact that the recruits did not know this was coming means either that it came down quickly or that Wake’s internal security is tighter than the CIA.

* Bob Huggins visited the families of killed and missing miners in that horrific mine disaster in West Virginia on Wednesday, bringing homemade pasta and West Virginia University t-shirts. Huggy’s kids may not have a history of going to class and graduating, but he is a West Virginia guy and this was a classy move on his part.

An open letter to DukeFan

Dear DukeFan,

Congratulations on winning the NCAA title. Hard to believe that just one year ago – heck, just five months ago – that your team was about to be tossed onto the scrap heap of history on the heels (pun intended) of North Carolina’s second title in five years and the pillaging of Harrison Barnes from the grasps of Coach K. Also hard to believe that Duke was an afterthought given the relative strength of Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse this year.

Jon Scheyer will never get enough credit for the job he did at the point this year, given that it is not his natural position. Fortunately for the Devils, Kyle Singler saved his best for last, and when Scheyer, Singler, and Nolan Smith were on, there was no more more formidable backcourt in college basketball. Plus, for the first time in a long time, Duke had a serviceable front line to compliment the guard play. And all huzzahs go to Mike Krzyzewski, who has now won NCAA titles in three different decades and has placed himself in rare company among college basketball’s elite coaches.

But with all that being said, I hope you’ll forgive me when I say there’s something unseemly about this title run, and this season and this team in general. There’s certainly no way to say Duke didn’t deserve to be national champions – any team that wins six in March and April deserves to be champions – but there’s just something not right about the way this whole thing went down.

Continue reading An open letter to DukeFan

NCAA Tournament Championship Game Open Thread

NCAA Tournament Championship Game
Duke (34-5, 13-3 ACC) vs. Butler (33-4, 18-0 Horizon)
Monday, April 5th at 9:21 pm on CBS
Calling – Jim Nantz and Clark Kellog
 
DUKE
DUKE
The Evil Empire
 
VS
 
BUTLER
BUTLER

Butler Bits

 

A lot of media, fans and pundits alike have all but hung the banner for Duke. I’m not buying it. You don’t win 25 straight all while knocking off Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State in the NCAAT only for the national title game to be a foregone conclusion. Butler can absolutely play to win this game. They have great guards, play great D and they don’t turn the ball over. Duke may hold the keys to the game but Butler will be there for the ride. For this Duke fan it’s been a great ride thus far but hopefully at some point in the second half Duke will leave Butler behind and drive off into the sunset with the ultimate prize in hand.

Enjoy the game.

Monday Morning Fodder

Here we sit on April 5th awaiting tonight’s NCAA Championship Game, and watching box scores across Major League Baseball as the non-Yankees and Red Sox start their seasons.  I just took a deep breath, and enjoyed the smell of Spring in the air.  Is this the best week of the year for sports?  Final Four, MLB getting under way and then to finish it off with Tiger’s return to the Masters?  You will be hard pressed to give me another week that matches up, but by all means please try!  My thoughts on theses topics, Donovan McNabb being traded and Koach K to the Nets after the jump. Continue reading Monday Morning Fodder

Resurrection Day, In A Devilish Sort of Way

The Duke Blue Devils prevailed and pretty much punked  West Virginia, in a don’t ever beat us again you couch burning rednecks sort of way. What can I say? Duke is  a tough, in your face, defensive, three point shooting, take it to the rack, rebounding, especially offensive rebounding, never miss a second chance shot national title contender. Play man and they’ll beat you with a big man screen. Play zone and they’ll light you up from the perimeter. Turn it over and they’ll make you pay. Don’t get the rebound and you’re 3 more points down. It’s a three man offensive juggernaut and the role players doing what they do make this Duke team great.  

I got your little glass slipper right here...
I got your little glass slipper right here...

…..So I’ve been watching these games with two of my best friends. They are both big time Carolina basketball fans, yet both have been kind of pulling for Duke. I think it’s just a bunch of what Roy Williams would call “junk” . I don’t think it’s that they’re pulling for Duke as it is they just can’t find much to hate about this Duke team. There’s no reverse racism, no madness about flopping or floor slapping etc. No complaints about the refs, well, at least not last night….. I think they just generally like all the Duke guys…. in a Duke fan liking Tyler Hansbra sort of way. And really, how could you have been pulling for that  mouthy  Da’Sean Butler (hope he is ok btw) or that shady Bob Huggins coach. Despite the mainstream media I believe these Dukies have been the“good guys” this season and for the tourney; in a Devilish sort of way 

Monday Morning Fodder

So, how are those brackets looking?  Mine look like crap, with zero Final Four teams remaining.  Duke is the lone ACC team left standing, and they will face off against West Virginia, who happens to be the lone Big East team left.  On the other side, we have Butler out of the Horizon League facing off against Michigan State out of the Big 11.

Meanwhile, over in the NIT, Carolina (we can call them that because it is basketball we are talking…) will be facing off against Rhode Island, that juggernaut from the A-10.  How will Carolina find a way to stop Keith Cothran, Delroy James and Lamonte Ulmer?  Yawn. Continue reading Monday Morning Fodder

Big Three Gunning For Final Four

Can the Big Three make it to the Final four?
Can the Big Three make it to the Final four?

I’ve been busier than a one legged man in an ass whipping contest so in an effort to revive thee blog, here’s a little write up on Elite Eight team Duke Blue Devils.

 Oh no you Purdont! The Duke, Purdue game was a grinder. Purdue played some sticky defense but Duke’s big three and size eventually took its toll on the boilermakers for a 70-57 win. The victory puts Duke, the last of the #1 seeds back in the round of eight for the first time since 2004.

Duke, Baylor. Baylor has beaten three double-digit seeds to get this far in Sam Houston State, Old Dominion and Saint Mary’s. Baylor is athletic, long and plays a tough zone defense. Duke will need to shoot very well today to win. I don’t think they’ll have much of an inside advantage b/c the Bears have a 7-footer and a pair of 6-10 players to pack the middle. Baylor will also have the crowd advantage. 40,000 fans will be cheering for Baylor in Houston so this is essentially a road game for Duke and we all know Duke hasn’t been at their best on the road.

 This is a BIG game for both teams. No member of either squad has ever been to a Final Four.

 -Baylor has been to the Final Four only twice, in 1948 and 1950 — back when the field had only eight teams.

 -The Blue Devils are going for their 11th Final Four appearance under Coach K, their first since 2004. They have lost only once when reaching a regional final.

Lets get it on!