So I'm filling out my bracket in the Midwestern Region and I get to the #2 seed Duke Blue Devils. All of a sudden I'm feeling very nostalgic about the first basketball team that got me interested in hoops. It was 1992 and I'm in the middle of a Book-It Pizza Hut book reading challenge when I see they're giving away basketballs with the Final Four Team's logos on the front. The Devils had won the NCAA Championship the year before and were looking to repeat with a squad of potential future NBA stars. Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and Bobby Hurley were already college basketball royalty from the most prestigious private school in all the land. Just a Side Note, tuition @ Duke University is $44,000/year so it's worth it if your family is rich or you've got a full ride. The dopest squad in the country was seasoned & battle-tested for a Tournament that would prove epic.
Another team from the Midwest with five starting freshman on the come-up would meet Duke in the Final game. The Blue Devils owned Michigan's Fab 5, 71- 51 to capture their second straight national title. Before that game it took a full court pass, from the guy pictured below, and a turn-around, fade-away buzzer beater to defeat Kentucky in the greatest college basketball game ever.
This year, Duke's Tournament hopes are promising even with difficult placement in a region with Louisville, Michigan St and St. Louis. Player for player, the Devils can match-up with any team in the country. They have size up front with Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly. Seth Curry, Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook are all adept at shooting the 3 and can handle the rock. Depth will be their biggest concern. Rasheed Sulaimon is their other weapon inside, averaging double figures in scoring. They do have a good mix of youth and experience (4 Seniors, 4 Freshman, 2 Juniors and 1 Sophomore).
No Team in College Basketball is perfect or anywhere near the level of the '92 Duke team. Indiana is stacked with players, but they always lay an egg every couple games. Louisville is the popular pick of the moment. They're hot. They've won 10 in a row, all while beating top 25 teams on the road and at home. Kansas is very similar to Duke, but the Jayhawks are soft. Louisville, Duke, Indiana and Ohio State are the teams most likely to win the Tournament.
Another item on my bucket list is to see a Duke game @ Cameron Indoor Stadium, now named Coach Krzyzewski (sha-shef-ski) Court. The most innovative fans in Sports are the Cameron Crazies, always coming up with creative chants and supportive rooting techniques that seem to catch on everywhere. The place looks tight & hot like a high school gym with the wood bleachers and student sectioning. Has to be one of the top venues to watch a game. #5 Alive Coach K!!! Let's Go Duke!!!