Monday, March 15, 2010

Duke Hopes ACC Dominance Carries Into NCAA Tournament This Year

Coach K is hoping to cut down at least one more net this year

Duke won the ACC Championship on Sunday and landed a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.

This success does not come as a surprise to Blue Devils fans though. Duke has owned the ACC Tournament as of late winning 9 of the last 12 and has appeared in the finals 12 of the last 14 years.

However, despite all the ACC success Coach K’s teams have struggled as of late in the NCAA Tournament. Duke has not made it past the Sweet 16 since 2004 and has not won a national championship since 2001.

Now, most any program in the country would take that measure of success, but not Duke. Not when your rival has celebrated two national titles just eight miles away from you in that span.

This Duke team has solved one of its defensive woes of the past, with the improvement of seven footer Brian Zoubek and added depth with Mason Plumlee on the inside.

But the Blue Devils still lack overall athleticism in defending the perimeter and rely heavily on three players for scoring.

The ACC Champions should have a relatively easy first two rounds, but the big test could come in the Sweet 16 or in the Elite 8 with a rematch against Villanova. The Wildcats explosive guards throttled Duke last year in the Sweet 16.

ACC title are always a goal in Durham, but can Duke take that next step towards a Final Four or even a national championship this year?

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