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Posted On: March 13, 2007 By: Cliff Comments: (zero)
With their lowest seed in more than a decade, the Blue Devils must travel to Buffalo, N.Y. to open tournament play Thursday against a tough Virginia Commonwealth team.Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils (22-10) have been the marquee team in college basketball over the last decade. Their 302 wins in the past 10 seasons are 29 more than second-place Kansas. Duke received a No. 1 seed in eight of the previous nine NCAA tournaments, reached at least the regional semifinals all nine times and appeared in the 1999, 2001 and 2004 Final Fours – winning the title in 2001.
A Colonial Athletic Association school proved anything can happen in last year’s tournament, when 11th-seeded George Mason advanced to the Final Four. This year, winning the CAA tournament earned the Rams (27-6) a No. 11 seed, although first-year VCU coach Anthony Grant is downplaying the comparison.
The Rams already have enjoyed a special season of their own under Grant, as their 27 wins set a school record. VCU is also riding a five-game winning streak, including a 65-59 victory over George Mason in the CAA title game.
Senior guard B.A. Walker leads the Rams with 14.8 points per game, and his 264 career 3-pointers are the most in school history.
VCU, which averages 74.8 points and is 21-1 when scoring at least 70, makes only 11.4 turnovers per game – 11th-fewest in the nation.
The Rams are making their eighth NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2004, when they were seeded 13th and lost to Wake Forest in the first round. They have never faced Duke.
Or thoughts on the game, it’s going to take a big game from Greg Paulus, Josh McRoberts, and DeMarcus Nelson for the Blue Devils to win this game.Ã‚Â I predict they win by 7 points, but without the big three players standing up and carrying this team it could get ugly early in the tournament for the Blue Devils.Ã‚Â If they play like they are capable of, well they just might make another Sweet 16 run.
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