Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Duke denied

Posted March 31, 2013

1. Last time Duke played their final game of the season in Indianapolis, the Blue Devils won the NCAA Championship. This time inside Lucas Oil Stadium, they were denied a trip to the Final Four by Louisville. 

Upon initial review, it turned out to be a good season for Duke.

The Blue Devils had an incredible stretch in November and December, so at least they've got the "Battle of Atlantis" over the Cardinals. Duke then battled through Ryan Kelly's foot injury and put together a conference season good enough for the second seed. They ultimately got to the Elite Eight and were beat by a team that looks to be the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing. Duke vs. Louisville Slideshow: Duke falls to Louisville in Elite 8

What keeps the season from being considered "great" by Duke standards would be the lack of banners. Nothing from the regular season, no title from the conference tournament and no cutting of nets in the NCAA Tournament. 

2. Ryan Kelly was saddled with foul trouble. Seth Curry only took two shots in the first half. Quinn Cook could barely breathe under Louisville's press and the team turned the ball over 11 times. The Blue Devils had an equally difficult time stopping dribble penetration from the Cardinals.

And yet, the game was tied at 42 after Mason Plumlee dunked with 16:20 left on the clock. Duke exerted so much energy staying in the game, what happened next seemed inevitable.

Louisville hit the Blue Devils with a 17-2 run sparked by Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng. Worn out by points in the paint, blocks and rebounds, Duke didn't knock down a field goal for over eight minutes. By the time Cook made a layup with just over eight minutes left in the game, the Cardinals had a 14-point lead and all the momentum. 

Krzyzewski: Not one part of me wanted this season to be over Krzyzewski: Not one part of me wanted this season to be over

3. How Louisville seized control over Duke is put into a more compelling context when considering what the Cardinals had witnessed in front of their bench just an hour earlier. 

Kevin Ware broke his leg with 6:33 left in the first half after he landed awkwardly trying to guard Tyler Thornton's 3-pointer. Players on the sideline recoiled in horror as Ware laid flat on the raised court. Dieng leaned over in agony for his teammate, Russ Smith began to cry and coach Rick Pitino eventually wiped away tears before play resumed.

CBS showed the replay a handful of times before shifting the focus to player reactions, including Thornton simply holding his hand over his eyes as he walked away from the scene.

The Cardinals huddled around Ware before he was eventually taken off the court with a stretcher. During the post game celebration, Louisville players held up Ware's jersey for team photographs.

4. Has any athletic director in the county experienced a better 2012-13 than Louisville's Tom Jurich?

The Cardinals escaped the imploding Big East for the safe (for the moment) harbor of the ACC. The football squad topped Florida in the Sugar Bowl and head coach Charlie Strong remained with the program. Now the basketball team is headed to back-to-back Final Four appearances.

5. The ACC, and more specifically the Triangle area, is in a Final Four drought. This 3-year stretch marks the longest without an appearance from either Duke, North Carolina or NC State since 1962.

9 Comments

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  • more cowbell Apr 1, 2013

    Boy oh boy, it sure is interesting watching this story rapidly fizzle down in priority. AllI can say is, "good riddance!"

  • StunGunn Apr 1, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Agreed. I mean, K has only won over 900 games - what does he know:)

  • Ken D. Apr 1, 2013

    View quoted thread


    I agree as well. This man has lost almost 300 games. When is Duke going to learn that he can't coach a lick, and replace him with somebody who really knows the game - like jambro22?

  • DUKE4EVER Apr 1, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Agree completely.

    GO DUKE!!

  • PanthersFan45 Apr 1, 2013

    The ACC, and more specifically the Triangle area, is in a Final Four drought. This 3-year stretch marks the longest without an appearance from either Duke, North Carolina or NC State since 1962.

    The last few years have been down years IMHO. For the 2nd time in 3 years only 4 teams got NCAA bids. The UNC team last year had an excellent chance to win it all and I thought they'd get a rematch with Kentucky. Creighton played so physical and "dirty" that when Kendall Marshall went down that all but ruined their chances at a final 4. Henson was also nursing a sprained wrist.

  • jambro22 Apr 1, 2013

    Duke should have went to a Zone as Louisville was scoring ALL thier points in the paint. But Coach K will NEVER run anything but a man to man defense. He will lose with it rather than adjust. This has aggravated me for many years!

  • BeastOfTheHill Apr 1, 2013

    DENIED!

  • StunGunn Apr 1, 2013

    ^^^^^^

    Looks like the L'Ville women were possibly sparked by Ware's injury as well. Louisville is having a spectacular season in athletics, and will strengthen the ACC in basketball and football.

    When CBS put up the stats in the first half, Louisville was ahead in most categories, but the score was so close. We'll never know for sure if Ware's injury gave Louisville the spark they needed to put Duke away, but Louisville is the better team IMHO and should be cutting down the nets a week from today.

  • 903 mens national championships Mar 31, 2013

    And the Lville women just beat Baylor an hour after the men's game in one of the biggest upsets in women's tourney history.

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