NCAA Men's Final Four: The Championship Is Duke's To Lose

Chris FaigCorrespondent IApril 1, 2010

HOUSTON - MARCH 28:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils during the south regional semifinal of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium on March 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Of course West Virginia is a good team, but if Duke sticks to their style of play, they will be the National Champions of the '09-'10 season. West Virginia is some serious competition, which can give Duke more of a battle then they would like. But if Duke beats WVU they will have no problem matching up with Butler or Michigan State.

As long as Duke plays with the same passion and intensity they have the entire season, than Mike Krzyzewski will absolutely win his fourth national championship with the Blue Devils. As a team they play great defense, not allowing many uncontested three pointers, ranking second in the NCAA in opponents 3-point field goal percentage(27.8 percent).

The Blue Devils will have to be on their best defensive game April 3rd when they face two dynamic players in Da'Sean Butler, averaging 17.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 1 SPG, and Devin Ebanks, posting 12 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.7 BPG .

Duke has the best chance at winning the championship because they have proven to be one of the more consistent teams, and they have one of the most experienced coaches in college basketball. Krzyzewski has won three national championships with Duke and now plans on getting a fourth, breaking his 9 year drought from when he last won in 2001.

Here are the games Duke has gone through so far this tournament: Defeated Arkansas Pine-Bluff 73-44, Cal 68-53, Purdue 70-57, and Baylor 78-7.

Duke has proven to be so successful because of their consistency from the free throw line. Many teams have struggled in this tournament because of their poor free throw shooting. Duke should not have this problem after shooting 76.1 percent as a team this season from the free throw line, ranking sixth in the country.

Duke is a team full of players that have done an outstanding job playing their individual roles. The play of these key players will determine if the Blue Devils will be celebrating on April 5th: Nolan Smith, Brian Zoubek, and the Plumlee Brothers(Mason and Miles). Sure their entire squad is full of talent, such as, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler, but these players are the key pieces to the Blue Devils' success.

The Plumlee Bros., Brian Zoubek, and Nolan Smith

Mason and Miles Plumlee do not get a whole lot of playing time, but are often inserted into the game as fresh legs to maintain tempo and give players rest. The way the brother tandem performs in the game against West Virginia, will have major impact on the flow of the game.

Brian Zoubek gives massive size and experience to Duke being a 7-1,260 pound Center. Zoubek plays with a passion that seems to lift his team to the next level at certain key points in the game.

The production of Nolan Smith is key if Duke is going to win their next two games because Smith seems to give the Blue Devils a scoring boost when they need it most. So far this season Nolan Smith has been averaging 17.4 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.8 RPG, and 1.3 SPG.


Duke's long season of hard work can finally pay off this Saturday if they can defeat one of the Big East powerhouses in West Virginia, making it to the University's 8th National Championship game under Mike Krzyzewski.



Final Four

Duke vs. West Virginia: 76-73(OT)

Michigan State vs. Butler: 71-72

National Championship

Duke vs. Butler: 84-72