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Ken Medlin

Duke dominates at the right time

Posted March 10, 2013

It was a blue bloodbath.

Duke out-shot, out-rebounded, out-hustled and thoroughly out-played Carolina on Senior Night in Chapel Hill.

I'll admit I've been skeptical about this Duke team for most of the season. I've tended to think Duke didn't have enough of an inside game to make a run for it all, and that their dependence on three-point shooting would ultimately be their downfall. But the past two Saturdays – and wins against the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the ACC – have changed my mind. UNC vs Duke Slideshow: Duke trounces North Carolina, 69-53

The Devils space themselves so well on offense that a lack of what most of us consider to be a dominating front-court – beyond Mason Plumlee – really doesn't matter. Ryan Kelly's mobility and range tend to draw post players away from the basket anyway, limiting the number of double teams on Plumlee. And no team clogs up passing lanes on defense better than Duke – entry passes into the paint can be adventures for opposing teams,

Carolina found out all of those things in the Devils' 69-53 win. In truth, the game was never that close. And in truth, it might have been a lot more interesting had the Tar Heels shot the ball a little better ... but part of that poor shooting – OK, a lot of it – can be attributed to Duke's defense.

A week and a half after losing at Virginia, Duke has responded by playing what may be the best basketball in the country. Their season will be judged by what they do in the next month, but the Blue Devils seem to have found the right equation at the right time. And that's the stuff upon which titles are built.

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  • jbenjamin1387 Mar 10, 6:21 p.m.

    i can't help but wonder what if andre dawkins wasn't redshirted this year.

  • Hokies94 Mar 10, 5:53 p.m.

    Duke has so many weapons to step forward and deliver scoring. Curry, Kelly, Plumlee, Cook, and a few others have risen up in each of their wins. I see Duke winning the ACC tourney, and go deep. Coach K focuses on the Tourney more than any coach in the ACC. Seedings.

  • Hokies94 Mar 10, 5:46 p.m.

    Great performance by Duke and it looks like they are peaking at just the right time. Even Jay... View More

    — Posted by randdjacobs

    Jay Bilas is one of my favorite analysts, and one reason is because he IS unbiased in his... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    I agree JGunn. Bilas does his research, and Dickie V uses his elementary loud voice. Dickie should not be allowed to call any Duke games. He's is the most biased of any that I've ever heard for one school.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 10, 4:11 p.m.

    No way is Duke a lock for a #1 seed. If they win the ACCT maybe ....

    — Posted by packbackrb

    Duke is a #1 seed in the latest brackets by Lunardi. Of course, that's been changing by the day, but I think one week from today, when they announce the brackets, Duke will be a 1-seed.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 10, 4:10 p.m.

    Great performance by Duke and it looks like they are peaking at just the right time. Even Jay... View More

    — Posted by randdjacobs

    Jay Bilas is one of my favorite analysts, and one reason is because he IS unbiased in his reporting and analysis. Dickie V on the other hand, I just wish he'd retire. Dickie was trying to put down Carolina (as if they needed it during that game!) by asking "who did Carolina really beat that they weren't supposed to beat during their six-game winning streak?" Bilas shut him down and answered, "Carolina beat the teams on their schedule during that six-game win streak." Thank you, Jay.

  • Hokies94 Mar 10, 2:56 p.m.

    Based upon their last few performances, Duke has a great shot in reaching the Final Four. No team is shooting any better than they are lately; especially with Kelly back. They finally rebounded like a solid team against UNC. This team reminds me of teams that went deep in the NCAA's.

  • randdjacobs Mar 10, 2:19 p.m.

    Great performance by Duke and it looks like they are peaking at just the right time. Even Jay Bilas called them the best team in the country after the game. I couldn't believe it with they way Jay intentionally avoids giving Duke props so as to appear "unbiased". I almost passed out. Digger, of course, remained silent as he hates to say anything positive about Duke.

  • packbackrb Mar 10, 1:58 p.m.

    No way is Duke a lock for a #1 seed. If they win the ACCT maybe ....

  • ACC22 Mar 10, 1:05 p.m.

    Duke is a lock for a #1 seed. Congrats to the Devils. Duke proves year in and year out they are one of the best in the ACC and in the country. They don't have to search for excuses every year. When you don't have the wins to back it up and it's always just wait til 1983 then you just aren't that good.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 10, 11:14 a.m.

    Duke sure dominated last night. I don't know how they'll fare in the NCAAT, but if they play like they did last night, they'll have a good run. It doesn't seem to matter if Kelly gets 2 or 22, he forces opponents to spread their defense, which ultimately leaves other Duke players wide open. Oh, and when Curry can score from anywhere, even sitting on his rear, you know it's going to be a loooong night.

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