NCAA Bracket 2011: Duke Basketball: Kyrie Irving Could Play in the Tournament

James Evens@JamesEvensCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2011

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 27:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils looks to pass the ball against the Oregon Ducks on November 27, 2010 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Big news out of Duke.  Star freshman guard Kyrie Irving practiced with the team on Tuesday according to coach Mike Krzyzewski

The star guard who was expected to be a lottery pick at the beginning of the season suffered an injury to his foot and has not been able to play during conference play.

Before getting injured, Irving was averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

According to the Associated Press, Coach K said that Irving would not start and would only play limited minutes if he was able to go for the tournament.

This could be a huge win for Blue Devil fans and coaches alike, as Duke was a far better team before the loss of Irving to injury.

This move could go either way though. The Blue Devils have been used to playing without Irving and have developed some team chemistry and a different type of game in the absence of their star player. 

With the likes of Nolan Smith though leading this team, expect Duke to still go far in the tournament.

Coach K would not play Irving if he thought it would be detrimental to the team.  Just look at this kid's numbers, he provides something special on the court for Duke that would just make it even harder to defeat them. 

Expect to see Irving in the tournament, a dream for Duke fans across the world, and a nightmare for everyone else.

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball, as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.   Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.

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