Deviled Eggs: 3/28/2011

Alright, so Duke’s 2010-2011 campaign is now finished. The end of the season is always tough, but here’s your silver lining; Deviled Eggs are back!

It does stink to have to start these a few weeks early, but what’s done is done. I’m sure most of you spent the rest of the weekend trying to avoid the productivity black hole that is college basketball in March, so here are six of this week’s best links on the interwebs that might be of interest to you.

 

From blueplanetshots.com

I don't know how much attention this Duke cheerleader gets. So here you go, hon. You're famous! (Courtesy of DBP's Photo website, BluePlanetShots.com)

1. Austin Rivers on The Fab Five and Jalen Rose’s Uncle Tom comments

Not sure how much coaching AR got on this article. But good lord, man. If he wrote any of it, he’s going to represent himself well at this University. Better than half of the humanities majors at this school! #notmeanttooffend

2. SethCurrySavesDuke on the Kyrie Irving twitter saga

(Editor’s note: Good lord I’m proud to be a Duke English major when there are people like Shane at SCSD out there)

Must read for those who want one possible explanation for Kyrie deleted his twitter. He’s back, by the way. @RealKyrieIrving. Tweet a lot of things about you know. Coming back.

3. DeAndre Daniels: MORE 2011 recruits???

If you want to read a LOT about this potential power forward recruit (who’s rated 9th in the country at that position), go to The Devil’s Den message boards. More than enough wacky theories and “insiders,” right JohnTDD?

4. “Is Brandon Knight Kentucky’s best freshman ever?”

So says Cincinnati.com…maybe? I think he’s more accomplished than Wall, but there’s a guy named Jamal Mashburn who might have something to say about that title. Or not?

Neither Rex Chapman nor Sam Bowie nor Jamal Mashburn nor Chris Mills nor Kenny Walker nor Ed Davender nor Ron Mercer nor Rajon Rondo nor Keith Bogans nor Patterson nor anyone else you can think (even Alex Groza) had the statistical or even intangible impact Knight has had.

Ugh. I don’t even follow Kentucky and I can tell that’s a stupid article written by some whiskey drunk Western Ky. grad who always wanted Big Blue…but never quite made it. Sad life.

5. Charlotte Observer on Andre Dawkins’ next steps

Ah, that’s more like it! Useful articles by people who cover the Triangle instead of the “Commonwealth of Kentucky.” Man, all the Ph.D’s around here must wear off on everyone.

(Ed. note: how many of our readers have doctorates or majorly advanced degrees of some sort? Just wondering. Tweet us @crazietalker or comment below. Go Duke.)

6. Follow @DaggumRoy, @NotCoachK, @NotBradStevens and more on Twitter!

It started with @DaggumRoy. Then @FakeJayBilas. Then…in a stroke of genius, somebody made @NotCoachK. Follow them all on Twitter via @crazietalker‘s list.

Here’s K’s bio from @NotCoachK:

Almost NCAA #winning-est Duke coach. Dammit, Derrick Williams. From mean street Chicago. Don’t mess with me–I’ll buy your hometown and turn it into a charity.

 

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The offseason is going to be fun. Go Duke. Thank you seniors. We’re going to miss you, but you all have accomplished so much and there’s much left to do going forward. You’ll have a Duke diploma–you’re set. Good luck. And hopefully you’ll all be pulling for Butler this weekend…you totally screwed them over last year.

Check out Crazie-Talk TV’s video of the Kyle, Nolan and Casey doing their senior speeches below. Subscribe to us on YouTube, you connected weirdos. And if you’re on LinkedIn….well. We’re sort of hard to find there. 🙂

(Ed.’s note: UP NEXT FROM CRAZIE-TALK: The Arizona Post-Mortem. Coming once I gather my thoughts. –@JGStanley12)

 

March Madness Second Round: Winners and Losers

 

Ted Turner finally found a way to make people care about truTV. (Photo via Creative Commons)
The technical terms may have changed, but you get the gist of it: the NCAA “Second Round” is the real first two days of March Madness. Some people take these days off from work, citing “late-winter cough” or “early summer Avian Flu.” Jim Rome decries this annual ritual of the American workforce. Hooter’s celebrates it, offering coupons to those who come in with a desire for boobs Basketball Fever. It’s become an American tradition, like Andy Griffith, apple pie and Reverend Lovejoy.
What matters more than the bracket standings is the teams and players that make their mark on March. Here are some of the major winners and losers from the opening two days.
 
WINNERS!
 
VCU, George Mason, and the CAA
 
VCU showed that they deserved their controversial spot in the First Four, downing Nikola Vucevic and USC 59-46 before stomping the lights out of a convalescent Georgetown team last night. The last time VCU reached the round of 32, it was at our expense, as Eric Maynor dropped a dagger and was immortalized in March Madness lore. Luckily, those wounds were healed by last year’s national championship, and I’m ready to cheer for VCU against a powerful Purdue squad on Sunday.
George Mason lived up to their awesome shirts by downing Villanova with some late game heroics that thrilled Gus Johnson to no end. Their reward is a date with Ohio State–who looked pretty dominating in their win over UTSA–but the George Mason program has some experience shocking the world, having knocked off prohibitive favorite UConn en route to the 2006 Final Four. There are no players left over from that team, and Coach Jim Larranaga has earned his salt, proving ’06 was no fluke. With a combined record of 3-1 in the Tournament (with Old Dominion falling to Butler in the final seconds) the Colonial Athletic Association is setting itself up for more attention from the Selection Committee in coming years. They are definitely winners.
 
The ACC
 
Our beloved east coast conference has been a punching bag for the national media this year. Who’s laughing now? HUH, PUNKS?! Duke, UNC and Florida State all advanced to the round of 32, with the Seminoles being the biggest surprise in a 57-50 win over previously top-20 Texas A&M. Our Blue Devils and the Heels were expected to advance, of course. But it’s heartening to see Leonard Hamilton (probably the ACC’s fourth best coach) break through to the next round. They’ll face off with Notre Dame, and I think with their length and athleticism they stand a chance at beating the Irish, a team that depends on craftiness and finesse.
 
Morehead State’s national recognition
 
Giggle all you want at the irony of Rick Pitino’s vanquishers, Morehead State is for real. DeMonte Harper’s last second three was as pure as glacial melt, and Kenneth Faried probably raised his NBA draft stock by leading his team over the Big East finalist Cardinals. It’s always particularly meaningful when a little known school defeats a in-state powerhouse. Morehead State has the opportunity to advance even further today against Richmond…methinks the Eagles can body up the Spiders and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
 
LOSERS…
 
Tennessee and Bruce Pearl
 
Blue Devil fans had a particular interest in yesterday’s Tennessee-Michigan game, but after halftime, the game wasn’t all that interesting. Michigan thoroughly blasted the Volunteers, winning by 30 in what must be a record for an 8-9 game. Michigan was a bubble team before the Tournament, and now coach John Beilein looks like some kind of mad genius heading in to the Wolverines matchup against Duke. On the otherhand, Bruce Pearl has the NCAA breathing down his neck for repeated recruiting violations, and is probably going to lose his job in the offseason. Sad…I was hoping to see if he ever douse himself in orange paint again.
 
Kalin Lucas and Michigan State
 
UCLA finally mercy-killed Michigan State’s disappointing season, holding on 78-76 after giving up most of a 23 point lead. The Spartans never really coalesced this year, completely disappointing the predictions of many analysts that they would challenge for the NCAA title. Tom Izzo was snakebitten by the defections of lead guards Chris Allen and Korie Lucious, and Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Draymond Green struggled to take the reins as senior stars. Lucas’ storied career ended on a Langdon-esque note, traveling as he tried to race up the court for a final shot. I always liked Lucas, even if the comparisons to Kyrie were always a little generous on his side…
 
St. John’s
 
Steve Lavin brought St. John’s back from the brink of obscurity this year, defeating a number of top teams in Madison Square Garden including top seeds Duke and Pittsburgh. But the Red Storm and its 9 (?!) seniors struggled all year away from home. Cue Thursday night’s 86-71 defeat at the hands of Gonzaga, far from midtown Manhattan in Denver. The Zags stumbled out of the gate this year, hardly impressing anyone after Len Elmore infamously picked them to win the national championship. But the Bulldogs owned the boards and dished out 20 assists to put this one out of reach. I was pretty impressed with the Big East’s performance in the first round, but St. John’s proved it still has some work to do to rejoin the elite of its monstrous conference.
 
That’s all for now, folks. Enjoy the second round, and follow us on Twitter for the latest jokes about John Calipari’s hair gel and stuff like that. Thanks to many of our tweeps for suggesting winners and losers! Here’s your moment of zen…remember the days when we were still worried about Kyrie coming to Duke?
 
 
 
 

ACC Tournament Champs: Threepeaters

Threepeat for Duke, threepeat for Nolan and Kyle. (Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

What a special weekend. After getting waxed in Chapel Hill the night of March 5th, I know I was chomping at the bit to get a rematch with North Carolina in the conference title game. As much as the team wanted to win another conference tournament, I’m sure they also wanted to do so at the expense of our hated rivals. So I was quite pleased that the Tar Heels overcame deficits of 19 and 14 points todefeat Miami and Clemson, respectively.
Kyle Singler carried the team on Friday against Maryland with 29 points,while Nolan Smith recovered quickly from the toe knock he suffered againstMaryland to score 27 points against Virginia Tech on Saturday. On Sunday, Duke probably put together its best 40 minutes of the year, as it dominated North Carolina. Everyone contributed to the 75-58 victory that gave Duke the third chapter of the 2011 rivalry. In the final minute of the game, ESPN’s Dan Shulman cited a comforting statistic: outside of Smith and Singler, the rest of the team shot 18-for-25. I’d have never believed we could beat Carolina by 17 and yet have our two best players score 31 points on 32 shots. That shows how outstanding the supporting cast was yesterday.

Miles Plumlee was great all weekend, crashing the glass hard and grabbing offensive rebounds. In fact, he’s played well the last four games, as he was the only big to show up in Chapel Hill. Let’s not forget offensive rebounding was critical  to our success last year. Ryan Kelly definitely bounced back from his horrendous showing last week to average 9.7 points on 66.7% shooting in the Tournament. Most importantly,though, we had an Andre Dawkins sighting this weekend. Much has been made ofhis gradual decline throughout the season, but it was good seeing him get after it on defense all weekend. All these are encouraging signs. If the supporting cast plays that well in the NCAA tournament—and that’s a big if—we can all book our tickets to Houston now.

Brackets OUT
Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Duke are the number 1 seeds for the NCAA tournament. Duke probably has the toughest road to the Final Four among the 1 seeds. Michigan and Tennessee are no slouches as second-round opponents, but I am really intrigued by the potential Sweet 16 matchup in Anaheim. Texas,which has slumped to a 4 seed, was in the conversation for a 1 seed only two weeksago. Arizona as a 5 seed, has the best big man in the country in Derrick Williams,who will play a big role if there is going to be a 2001 national championship rematch.

On the other side of the West region, San Diego State will essentially play two home games should they reach the Sweet 16. This region is also loaded in star player Kemba Walker and the Connecticut Huskies lurk as the 3 seed. Another Duke-UConn game in the Elite Eight would be quite the treat for college basketball fans.

Other bracket impressions

Can George Mason be this year’s Northern Iowa and knock out the overall number 1 seed in the second round? They have a coach with Final Four experience but they’ll first have to get by a Villanova team that was once in the top 10 of the polls.

The new “First Four” games should be very interesting, at least on the at-large side. Clemson and UAB will square off for the chance to play West Virginia, and USC and VCU will square off for the chance to play Georgetown. I like Clemson and USC to win those games. UAB and VCU should not even be in the field (1 top-50 win combined), considering a team like Colorado, who beat Kansas State three times and Texas as well, was left out.

More bracket analysis is forthcoming from C-T. With Team Crazie-Talk now assembled, we’re stoked to start making picks based on reason, and being completely disappointed in the outcomes.

The Postseason Starts Now

It will take more than just the ACC POY to win the ACC-T. (Photo courtesy DukeBluePlanet)

Apologies for our radio silence after last week’s debacle in Chapel Hill. With the beginning of spring break, travel plans and general malaise were enough to de-motivate us from facing reality. UNC won the ACC regular season. They earned it. They rushed the floor. They partied. Good times.

But it is now officially March: the college basketball postseason is upon us. Some teams have already punched their tickets to the Dance, including my hometown heroes UNC-Asheville Bulldogs. The Big East Tournament has been as wacky and wild as we have all expected, with the UConn Fightin’ Kembas putting a dagger in the heart of Pittsburgh. In a bizarre turn of events, Miami erased a 10 point Virginia lead in 42 seconds and advanced to the second round in Greensboro. March…the month of heartbreak and jubilation. And Duke Blog March Madness Pools.

What can we expect from Duke tonight? Hopefully rested legs, a renewed sense of urgency, and a little bit of anger. We simply played scared against the Tar Heels, allowing them to shoot a blistering 53% from the field. Clearly that’s not acceptable anymore. With six days of rest and preparation—and hopefully some stern, instructive speeches from K—the Blue Devils are ready to play hungry again.

With Notre Dame’s absolute obliteration of Cincinnati last night, the Fighting Irish are in prime position to usurp our #1 seed. The only possible way to regain it? Win our third straight ACC Tournament Title. Let’s get it.

Several of our staff will be jostling for tickets to tonight’s game, so we’ll hopefully have some eyewitness reports tomorrow morning. Stay tuned. And Spear the Turtle.