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Jeff Gravley

Duke, Louisville to give preview of ACC's future

Posted March 30, 2013

Rick Pitino on the opposite bench from Mike Krzyzewski in a battle of Louisville and Duke.

It's a look into the future of the ACC, as the Cards are set to join the league in 2014. Krzyzewski said when all of the new teams join the ACC, "It makes us the most powerful basketball conference, I think, ever."

Duke and Louisville met in November in the championship game of the Battle for Atlantis. The Blue Devils won 76-71, finding a way to solve the Cards all-out pressure. Louisville's shot blocking machine, Gorgui Dieng, didn't play in that game.

"The fact that we won I don't think is significant," Krzyzewski said. "The fact that we have some familiarity with them helps." 

In the short time to prepare to play Louisville here in Indianapolis, having that in-person scouting report will help both teams. Duke guard Quinn Cook said it is beneficial that he was able to see how Cardinal guards Russ Smith and Peyton Siva like to come off of ball screens and to experience how hostile and aggressive Louisville's pressure is. Mike Krzyzewski Krzyzewski: Win will depend on fresh legs

Krzyzewski had high praise for the Louisville back court, but said they were different than the Miami duo of Shane Larkin and Durand Scott. Miami's guards play more of a half court game. He said Siva and Smith "put incredible pressure on you, the whole court, both offensively and defensively."

"There's not a better transition guard in the country as Smith," Krzyzewski added.

Poise was a word used quite a bit by the Blue Devils when asked about facing Louisville's pressing defense. Duke has enough guys who can handle the ball, and Ryan Kelly is a smart inbounder.

But there's not one second that they can relax. When you do, that's when the Cardinals get one of their 18.8 turnovers they produce per game. Friday night against Louisville, Oregon turned it over only 12 times, which prompted Pitino to say," We didn't play a stitch of defense last night, so we're well rested."

Sunday's regional final matchup will be the first NCAA tournament game that Pitino and Krzyzewski have faced each other since Christian Laettner's shot beat Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA regional finals in Philadelphia. That game is one of Mike Krzyzewski's 11 regional final wins against just one loss.

A win over Louisville would put Coach K in his 12th Final Four, which would tie the NCAA record held by the great John Wooden.

"Coach Wooden, I felt, was the greatest teacher of any sport of any game," Pitino said. "And Coach K is the modern-day John Wooden."

High praise and mutual respect from two programs that will see a lot of each other in the coming years.

15 Comments

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 30, 5:43 p.m.

    The Duke/Louisville game is as good as it gets - should be the championship game. K is right: this IS a preview of the future ACC. The incoming schools will make the ACC a LOT stronger in basketball, and hopefully bring back the glory days of the ACC in hoops.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Mar 30, 8:27 p.m.

    ^Absolutely, jgunn. With that, the Louisville Bullet is gonna get smashed by the D-Train. lol

  • Big Mike Mar 30, 8:35 p.m.

    After all the hype..All the BS from the know it alls..Duke will win and move on..simple as that!

  • Hokies94 Mar 30, 9:51 p.m.

    The Duke/Louisville game is as good as it gets - should be the championship game. K is right: ... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    "Glory days of the hoops." The glory days are here, and have never left our State. We have the best tradition of all schools in the land. Bring back is an understatement. Nah. Sorry. I don't buy this one.

  • Hokies94 Mar 30, 10:01 p.m.

    The ACC hoops is all about those that have a solid foundation about growing up and having a grasp of teams since elemantary school in North Carolina. I do appreciate some that claim to know more about our rich History in basketball since they have migrated up/down here. Our Glory days are in the present.

  • rsadcox2 Mar 30, 10:48 p.m.

    Louisville, unlike Michigan State will be more potent on offense. Duke should recognize Louisville's style because it is very similiar to Carolina. Push the ball at all costs and get mismatches early in the transition. Unlike the Michigan State game in which the froncourt had to play well, the Duke backcourt will have to win this game on defense. No easy runouts. Folks, this is where Duke is weak and will be very vulnerable. The ACC games that gave Duke their losses and close games were teams that did this to them. How do they overcome this? Stay home and hit the glass hard. Make Louisville pay for trying to go on early transition. Obviously, hit their shots. Take care of the basketball. Win the battle of the minds by making good decisions, something that actually hurt them in the Michigan State game. Should have won that game by more in my opinion, but made some keep the opponent in the game plays against Michigan State. NO chip shot misses in this game. Duke can win this game but will have to be aggressive to grab the victory. Lousville is not going to give this game away.

  • MoDuke v2 is gone Mar 30, 11:09 p.m.

    ^ This

  • 903 mens national championships Mar 30, 11:47 p.m.

    If Duke does what they did in the Bahamas, they can get Louisville out of their comfort zone. Kelly and Plumlee are good enough ballhandlers that they help bring the ball up the beat the ville's press. Then Duke needs to stay at a halfcourt tempo and only push it when they have numbers. Even if they get their halfcourt game tempo, all that does is take away the ville's favored tempo, it doesn't automatically give Duke the advantage but does give them a chance to keep the game winnable. What Rasheed has been doing the last two games could be the difference. If he continues driving inside and either scoring or getting a foul on a big, Duke can win the foul battle and force the ville to use the subs more than they want to. And of course, Duke can't allow Plumlee and Kelly to get in any foul trouble. Hairston and Thornton will continue to come in and be agressive and pick up timely fouls to protect Plumlee and Kelly from picking up the cheap ones.

  • 903 mens national championships Mar 30, 11:50 p.m.

    And definitely, don't think the Duke D is going to shut them down like it shut down MSU. That was as much due to MSU's inability to hit shots as it was Duke's D. It was a perfect storm that Duke was able to keep the defensive intensity at a high level in the same game that MSU went ice cold.

  • randdjacobs Mar 31, 1:01 a.m.

    Duke's D has vastly improved since the start of this tournament. I don't know what K did to get this team to play the level of defense they have been playing since the tourney began, but know this, Duke is a much improved team in just the last 2 weeks. They are WAY better defensively than what they showed during the reg. season and their rebounding has improved also (an achilles heel during the reg. season). This team has what it takes to cut down the nets and I think they will do just that!

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