Maybe it’s just me, but from my recollection I believe a majority of sports experts were calling Duke the weakest link of the No. 1 seeds.
So much for that absurdity.
With the BS on the back burner, Coach K and the Dukies enter the 2010 Final Four as the only top seed remaining in March’s Madness.
Of course, their latest win took a gutsy performance to outlast Scott Drew and the up-and-coming Baylor Bears in an Elite Eight matchup in Houston, Texas.
“Yeah, these two teams that we played, Purdue and Baylor, Baylor’s bigger, but Purdue is such a physical team. And then Baylor, oh, they’re real physical and made us work for everything,” Duke senior Jon Scheyer told the media following the Blue Devils victory.
“They matched us with our size. They’re bigger than us, probably. So we had to work for every rebound. It was one of those games where it was a possession-by-possession game against a really tough team.”
Up next for the Dukies is No. 2 seed West Virginia with a trip to the national championship on the line.
“It’s not about the moments that I’ve been in, it’s the moments that your players put you in right now,” coach Mike Krzyzewski told Duke’s official athletic site. “I’m really happy for this group. ... It’s as close a team as I’ve had. You want great things to happen for people who are great with us.”
So far, so good.
“We’ve worked really hard, this group, and I think we’ve come a long way since our freshman year. And to be in a position in the Final Four and contend for a National Championship, it means a lot,” Scheyer said. “I don’t know if it’s fully hit me. I’m sure after the year I’ll have a better appreciation. But right now I’m just ecstatic and just really happy to share with all my teammates.”
Scheyer’s Blue Devil teammates agree.
“I can’t put it into words,” Duke’s Lance Thomas said. “It took us four years to get here and we’re not done yet.”
It’s time for a nine-year reunion in Krzyzewskiville, and it’s time once again to cut down the nets and bring home a title to Durham, North Carolina.
Just West Virginia and the winner of the Butler versus Michigan State game stand in the Blue Devils' way in their championship quest of 2010.
The Final Four teams are set; now it’s up to Coach K and the Dukies to finish the job at hand...
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org