Duke Basketball

Duke goes down to West Virginia 73-67

The season ended for the Duke Blues in the second round of the NCAA tournament as the lost to West Virginia 73-67.  Duke played a good first half as they took a five point lead into the locker room, but in the second half they could not make a bucket, and forgot what their lockdown defense was.

The three point shots were not falling for the Blue Devils. After hitting two of them early in the game, then went on a 0-15 streak from beyond the arc.  I thought around the 6-7 minute range, they were pressing too much and jacking up three point shots when they could have continued driving to the basket and picking up fouls.   Maybe it would have been a little bit closer of a game atleast.

It sucks to see Senior DeMarcus Nelson go out like this.  He played a terrible tournament and will take a lot of crap for his gameplay and the way Duke played.  We all know Nelson is a lot better player then he showed late in the season.

All in all, I wish we could have seen the Blue Devils advance but I figured it was a long shot the way they had been playing lately.  Nelson is the lone Senior that the team will lose, so the Blue Devils will have a lot of experience coming back.  That can only take you so far though, they need to get a big man to play downlow if they want to get any better.

We will continue blogging during the off-season and hope you continue to come and leave comments.  Stay strong Duke fans.

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

Duke gets lucky and barely gets past Belmont 71-70

Ok, yes I will admit that Duke got very lucky tonight against Belmont.  To be honest, Belmont should have won this game and I actually felt sorry for them when they threw the last ball away to DeMarcus Nelson.  It was like I didn’t believe what happened…  Yet, I’m sitting here happy that Duke won, but still pissed off at how poorly they played.

First off, DeMarcus Nelson, you need to step up like the Senior you are.  You have been around the Duke program long enough to know when you should take the game over.   Yet, that didn’t happen and good thing Gerald Henderson was around to pick up for you.

Speaker of Henderson, what a game for him.  He came up with the big shot and the big stop on defense late in the ballgame that the Blue Devils really needed.  Without Henderson, the Blue Devils lose this game without a question.

Another player that really needs to step if the Blue Devils want to have any shot during the next round is Freshman Kyle Singler.  Singler has looked lost out there the last three to four games and isn’t knocking down the open shot.  I would like to see him drive to the basket more and get to the free throw line to get some points from the charity line.

I’m happy for the win tonight, but still upset at the same time.  I really don’t like Duke’s chances against the winner of the Arizona / West Virgina match.  I think Duke loses out in the second round, with another bad performance in the NCAA Tournament.  What do you think Blue Devil fans?  Do you agree with me?

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

Duke vs Belmont Preview

Well it is that time of year baby!  March Madness is alive and I’m reading to sit in front of my tv for the next four days in a row to kick things off!  The wife is really going to love that lol!

Anyways, the #2 seeded Duke Blue Devils will face off against #15 Belmont in Washington D.C. on Thursday evening.  Duke hasn’t played their best ball the past 2 weeks of the season, and need to get off to a quick start against Belmont.  When you are playing a big underdog like Belmont, you have to hit them with the hammer early, and nail in the coffin early in the second half!

For Duke to win, they are going to have to slow down the Belmont offense.  They cannot allow them to jack up 35-40 three pointers because that is what they try to do every game.  Belmont will score their points, the Blue Devils just need to limit them to two pointers and not three pointers.  Duke will also need to stay out of foul trouble early in the ballgame, unlike the past three games.

I look for the Blue Devils to get the ball inside to Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas early in the ballgame.  They need to get the ball inside, to open up some three point shots for the shooters.  I think Lance or Brian will score 10+ points tonight, it just depends who gets off to the hot start.

My prediction is Duke 92, Belmont 77.  GO Devils!

If you want to bet on the Tournament, Bodog is the place to do that!

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Category: Duke Basketball

Duke gets #2 seed in the West Region

It is time to put the ACC Tournament behind us, and start looking forward to the NCAA Tournament that starts on Thursday.  Duke received a #2 seed and was placed in the West region with the likes of West Virgina, Arizona, Xavier, Purdue, and the #1 seed UCLA.

The Duke / Belmont game is going to be a shootout. Belmont, just like Duke, likes to jack up the three pointers.  Belmont averages 29 three point attemps a game while the Duke averages 24 three point shots.  This will be a high scoring game, and Duke should just look to the paint and get some points down low to dominate Belmont and move onto the second round.

Now this is where things get scary for the Duke Blue Devils.  They will either play West Virginia or Arizona in the second round.  Duke matches up better with Arizona in my opinion. A Duke / West Virgina matchup scares me right now.  Joe Alexander for West Virginia is playing lights out and I think he would give Duke a lot of problems.

I look for the Blue Devils to move onto the Sweet 16, but they will barely get by a fiesty West Virginia team in the secound round in my opinion.   I could very easily see the Blue Devils losing to the Mountaineers as well.  I’m picking Duke to win on Saturday by three points however.

What do you all think about the West bracket for Duke?  Do you think they have what it takes to get to the Great Eight and faceoff against the #1 seed in the UCLA Bruins?  Wouldn’t it be something to watch Kyle Singler and Kevin Love face each other once again?

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Category: Duke Basketball

Duke wins one, loses one at the ACC Tournament

It was what most Duke fans and the players were not expecting but the Duke Blue Devils lost in the semi-finals of the ACC tournament to the Clemson Tigers 78-74.  The previous day, the Blue Devils had beaten Georgia Tech 82-70 to move into the semi-finals.

I won’t blog much about the Georgia Tech game as Duke contolled that game for the most part as they held a 20 point lead in the game.  That lead dwindled down and Tech gave Duke a pretty good game in the second half before Duke held on for the win.

As for the Duke / Clemson game, where do I start lol?  Duke was ice cold from beyond the arch as they only hit 6 of 26 shots from three point land.  This Duke team lives and dies by the three point shot, and on Saturday they died by it.

Inside play was also a big factor as to why Clemson got the victory.  Duke has got to rebound the ball better, and get more points down low.  I just don’t see that adjustment being made this season as the Blue Devils head into the big tournament.

Hopefully Kyle Singler and company will step up on Thursday when the Blue Devils take on Belmont in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.  If not, we could see another early exit by the Blue Devils.

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

North Carolina gets the best of Duke as the Blue Devils lose 76-68

It was Senior Night at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night as the Duke Blue Devils hosted the hated rivals the North Carolina Tarheels.  It and up and down game, it was North Carolina who came out on top with a 76-68 victory over the Blue Devils.  Duke battled back in the second half but a late rally by Carolina pushed them over the edge.

One thing that really hurt the Blue Devils was not making a basket in the last five minutes of the ballgame.  Someone needed to step up and take control to get the ball in the bucket those last five minutes.  I gotta give Carolina credit where it is due, and they shut down the opposing team and ended up winning the ball game.

I really thought that DeMarcus Nelson would come out and have a better game to be honest.  Maybe the Senior had some crazy nerves as it was Senior night but I would have thought he would get rid of those after a few minutes and then play a great game.  Nelson was held to six points on only 3 of 12 shooting.  Not the type of game he wanted to play that is for sure.

We just might see another game between to the rivals during the ACC Tournament in the next week.  Duke will have to battle their way through the tournament to have that shot however.  They need to play a lot better basketball then they have the past two weeks if they want that rematch.

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

It’s Duke and North Carlolina time once again

The big game every Duke and North Carolina fan has been waiting for since the Blue Devils knocked off the Tar Heels on their home court earlier this season.  This time the game will be played at Cameron Indoor Stadium and be broadcast on ESPN HD at 9 p.m. eastern.

I think this came comes right down to Ty Lawson vs Greg Paulus.  Can Paulus slow down Lawson at all?  I don’t think he is going to the entire game, but if he can get Lawson frustrated and force him to take bad shots I think it will affect him as the game goes on.  Paulus cannot pick up any cheap fouls and must stay out of foul trouble as well.  We might see Nolan Smith in the game early if Paulus has troubles slowing Lawson down.

Another matchup that scares me again is Tyler Hansbrough down low for the Tar Heels.  He will dominate Brian Zoubek, I expect Zoubek and Lance Thomas to pick up a lot of fouls in this game as they try to slow down the big man Hansbrough.

If I had to pick one player that will step up and lead the Blue Devils to victory it would be Senior DeMarcus Nelson.  I think he is going to have a huge game tonight scoring over 20 points and leading the Blue Devils to a 3 point victory!

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Category: Duke Basketball

Duke survives by one at North Carolina State

It sure wasn’t a good game for the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon as they barely beat an unranked North Carolina State Wolfpack.  With the 87-86 victory it gave Coack K his 800th career win but he wasn’t too sure it was going to happen on Saturday as the players just weren’t responding like he had hoped.

DeMarcus Nelson and Jon Scheyer led the Blue Devils with 19 points each.  Both made key baskets late in the game to push the Blue Devils to victory.

Greg Paulus hit a couple huge three’s during the Blue Devils comeback as well and finished the game with 15 points.  Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson helped out with 12 points each as well.  I really think that Singler could have taken the game over if he had wanted too and put up atleast 25 points.  They just couldn’t stop him driving to the basket and getting layups.  I think Singler should have kept taking the ball the basket and it wouldn’t have been as close of a game.

A win is a win so we have to be glad for that.  The win kept the Blue Devils in the hunt for a #1 seed depending how they close out the last two weeks of the season.

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

   

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