With established starters at North Carolina and NC State, and a clearly anointed heir apparent at Duke, the Triangle is headed for another summer with no quarterback controversies. That’s exciting for coaches, but boring for fans.
Normally, basketball recruiting this late in the season has little to offer. From Duke plucking a point guard from next year’s class to three top-10 prospects considering Triangle teams, this April is different.
As a Hall of Fame player, Ron Francis ability to see plays develop set him apart. As a general manager, he’s less worried about the Carolina Hurricanes missing the playoffs -- again -- than he is building a foundation for the future.
Assuming all three of Duke’s star freshmen head to the NBA, it’s going to be a very different team next season – but a better one than perhaps might have been expected, based on Grayson Allen’s Final Four performance.
After Lehigh and Mercer, it seemed like Krzyzewski was headed down the wrong path. His teams, his good teams, were built differently. The focus on freshmen seemed antithetical to what had brought Duke so much success over the years, and Krzyzewski left himself open to second-guessing. Monday, Krzyzewski proved he was right all along.
It’s been a good year for basketball in the Triangle already. Duke, North Carolina and NC State all made the Sweet 16 for the first time in 10 years. NC Central won the MEAC regular-season title. And Duke is one win away from a national title.
After an early stumble Saturday against Michigan State, the Blue Devils erupted to blow away the Spartans, 81-61. Whatever Michigan State did, Duke did better, because Duke keeps getting better and better and better, on the verge of a national title.
No one applied more pressure on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act than the NCAA, which moved its headquarters to Indianapolis in 1999 and is hosting its signature event here this weekend and in 2021, along with the Women’s Final Four next year.
The NCAA on Monday attempted to have a lawsuit filed by former North Carolina athletes against the university and the NCAA thrown out, arguing in part that it has no duty to ensure the quality of education offered by its member institutions. On Thursday at the Final Four, NCAA president Mark Emmert and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz, the chairman of the NCAA's board of directors, offered a lengthy explanation of the NCAA's position.
Only Mike Krzyzewski knows what final transgression got Rasheed Sulaimon kicked off the team in midseason, but the timing of his departure turned out to be ideal for Duke, sparking second-half surges from Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow that helped Duke to the Final Four.
Both Miles and Mason Plumlee won a national title with Duke in Indianapolis in 2010, only 2 1/2 hours from where they grew up in Warsaw, Ind. Now the third Plumlee, redshirt junior Marshall, will attempt to do the same.
Two ACC officials were among the 10 selected to work the Final Four, the NCAA announced Tuesday. Mike Eades was chosen for the second time, while Bryan Kersey will make his Final Four debut in Indianapolis.
Tom Izzo has modeled many aspects of his Michigan State program on what Mike Krzyzewski has done at Duke, with tremendous success. And yet Izzo has had almost no success against Krzyzewski, in the NCAA tournament or otherwise.
In the disappointment over the way the Tar Heels and Wolfpack exited the NCAA tournament, there is this: Both are in position to return almost their entire teams next season. With Duke facing a likely NBA exodus, and a retooling if not a rebuilding, the balance of power in the Triangle is going to shift.
College basketball coaches don’t wear a uniform, but for most, a suit and tie is the same thing. For some others, it’s hard to tell if they even own a tie. Suits and sportcoats hold sway, but neckwear is the wild card.
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