March Madness 2011: West Region

Written March 15th, 2011 by Jay

The West Region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket presents Duke as the #1 seed, followed by San Diego State at the #2 and UConn at the #3.  The West has as many as six teams that appeared in the top 10 of the AP ranking at some time during the season, a list that includes Tennessee, Texas, and Missouri in addition to the three noted above.  No other bracket has a former top 10 team ranked as lowly as Missouri is ranked in the West, coming in at the #11 seed.  This reflects the Tigers’ struggles late in the season, but also can be seen as a testament to the depth of good teams in the region.

Final Four Fav’s: Looking at the potential matchups in the bracket, it’s hard to pick against UConn as a good candidate to make it to the Final Four.   Read More

Impressions: Duke and Maryland

Written February 5th, 2011 by Jay

Earlier this week on Wednesday night the Duke Blue Devils faced off against the Maryland Terrapins in an ACC game coming just before the halfway point of conference play for both teams.  Maryland had already lost once to Duke on the season, a 71-64 final in Durham back on January 9th.  For Maryland, Wednesday night’s game represented a chance for a little revenge, not to mention a marquee win to bolster the team’s tournament resume.  For the Blue Devils, a victory would count as another quality road win and further solidify Duke’s place as one of the elite teams in the country despite looking vulnerable after picking up their second loss of the season just a few days prior at St. John’s.

Duke came into this season looking like the runaway team of the year, highlighted by the stellar play of freshman point guard Kyrie Irving.  However, after a toe injury sidelined Irving (he just got his cast off on Thursday), Duke suddenly became mortal again, and expectations for a run to a second straight national championship diminished somewhat.  It still looked like the Blue Devils would run away with the conference title in a relatively weak ACC this year (and it still does), but there would probably be some bumps on the road.  Maryland has played Duke as tough as any ACC team over the past decade, and the fans at College Park were chomping at the bit for another shot at their pedigree rival from the South. Read More

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