Duke Basketball: 5 Keys to Ensure a Deep Run in the NCAA Men's Tournament

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Duke Basketball: 5 Keys to Ensure a Deep Run in the NCAA Men's Tournament
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Seth Curry

Following a tough loss to Maryland in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, Duke was bumped down to the No. 2 seed in the toughest region of the NCAA Tournament, the Midwest. The journey to another Final Four, and potentially another national championship for the storied program, now seems like an obstacle that cannot be overcome without some breaks here and there and with a little luck as well.

The region has the number one overall seed in the tournament in Louisville, who many believe are the favorite to win it all this year. Along with them are the perennial March contenders, Michigan State, and their fantastic coach, Tom Izzo. The other candidates to escape from this region also present tough possible tests for Duke should they meet: a sturdy Saint Louis team, Creighton and star player Doug McDermott, Oklahoma State with super-frosh Marcus Smart and the relatively untested but balanced Memphis team.

So what does Duke need to do in order to escape this loaded gauntlet of a region? Let's look at the five major keys to a few more weekends of basketball for Duke.

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