The Duke Blue Devils are the defending NCAA Basketball National Champions. They won the ACC regular season title, then followed it up with the ACC Tournament championship. All the while the Blue Devils did it without arguably their best player, freshman guard Kyrie Irving, who missed 26 games during the season before returning for the NCAA Tournament.
9:45PM et: (5)Arizona Wildcats(29-7) Vs. (1)Duke Blue Devils(32-4) - CBS
One thing is for certain, the Blue Devils will have to play better if they are going to get past an Arizona Wildcats team that looks to be back in the discussion for a National Championship.
After getting swept in a trip to USC and UCLA towards the end of the season, the Wildcats have gotten hot. Though they lost the PAC-10 Tournament, the Wildcats appear to have peaked in time for the NCAA Tournament. Add to that the fact that several of their players are from Los Angeles, and playing in Anaheim amounts to a home game.
"It's good to be home, but we're here for business right now," Kyle Fogg said.
Arizona coach Sean Miller knows all about the Blue Devils in the Tournament. Miller was an assistant at Xavier under Ohio St. Buckeyes coach Thad Matta when the Musketeers lost to Duke by 3 points with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Miller also did some winning of his own in the Tournament as the head man at Xavier.
For Duke, of course, it is all about Irving and trying to find a rhythm while inserting the talented freshman back into the lineup. For Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who picked up his 900th career win last week, a spot in the 2011 Final Four would mean he ties Bob Knight as the winningest coach in NCAA history.
"Any individual win during a season is never that big, except if it leads to a league championship, a tournament championship, and obviously the national championship," he said.
MY PICK: For some reason I like Arizona in this spot. Duke seems ripe for the picking and Anaheim is so close to home for so many of the Wildcats.
Arizona 58 - Duke 56