Tag Archives: Duke-Michigan State

Thoughts from Indy – Duke vs Michigan State

SONY DSCINDIANAPOLIS - As you walk up to Lucas Oil Arena the banks are still covered in snow and that alone makes one realize you are not in North Carolina, but as my stroll continued I started to see the ghosts of games past.

I have returned to the scene of the 2010 National Championship Game and it's hard not to relive those moments where Gordon Haywards' shot caromed off the rim just before the court was filled with joyous Blue Devils who had just won their fourth title under the watch of Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

I can still see Kyle Singler laying on the floor before being mobbed by his teammates after a vicious pick by Matt Howard, an illegal one at that, but a no-call nobody cared about in royal blue, for Duke had just won that wonderful crystal trophy.

My memories from that magical 2010 season are numerous and the only thing that has really changed in the arena are the pictures of Andrew Luck where Peyton Manning used to be. Well, there is a shortened court as well and less seats but the venue is still one of the best out there and Indy is a true basketball town through and through.

Oddly, in a good way for Duke fans, the 2013 Blue Devils are in the exact same locker room as before. But tonight's game reminds me more of  that seasons Baylor game, than it does the Final Four in that Duke will face a tough and athletic team in an early game that can on paper go either way.

In a sense, Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo is due. Coach Krzyzewski owns a 7-2 record over the Spartans and none of those match ups featured a weak team. The "due," bit scares the fan side of me the most here, but on the court itself I feel confident in the Blue Devils ability to win this one.

If one were to conduct a straw poll of media types, Michigan State seems to be the popular pick. Even Dick Vitale who gets unfairly blasted and called "Dukie V," has picked the team in the green shade.

I say unfairly blasted in the case of Vitale because he is one of the few talking heads who recognizes the Duke success under Coach Krzyzewski has been and should be impressive enough to harp about, no matter who you are.

Still, the talking heads are strongly leaning towards Michigan State and that is another reason which could point to a solid effort and win for Duke in that being considered an underdog when you are a slime 2 point favorite in Vegas can sometimes motivate.

Oddly, when Duke wins, they are labeled the team to beat but when there is a bad loss, they suddenly become vulnerable. And there last loss to Maryland was obviously a bad loss if for no other reason than getting stuck in what I have dubbed the "Final Four," regional where one could make a case teams left in the region could have made it to Atlanta had they been blessed with different paths.

At this point and time, Duke will in no way waste any thought process on what could have been. Instead, they will prepare as they always do and show up this evening no matter how to tough the opponent.

While I am very impressed with the Michigan State starting line up, I see their bench as being a little weak and most consider Dukes' weak as well.

That means the game will come down to the starters and Duke features three seniors in Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry. But Sparta features some experience as well, just not quite as much as Duke does and that is one of the reasons I think Duke will find a way to win tonight, but in a close game, one which could test ones nerves until the very end.

In all likelihood, the game could hinge on the way the game is called. There have been games where phantom calls were made to date, limiting Duke to play aggressively, while other tournament games have let the teams play.

It's hard to figure out which way the game is called would benefit Duke in that allowing them to play seems to favor the athletic Spartans but that kind of game may keep Mason Plumlee out of foul trouble.

If the game is called close, Duke may get to the line a lot and such, but as odd as it seems I favor letting the teams play and I think that's what we'll see.

So, I am picking the Blue Devils to advance and make some new memories, ghosts be darned, but it'll be after midnight to know if I am right.

Just throw the ball up already and let's get it on. The game pits to solid teams playing a round too early in my humble opinion, but as they say, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

As for  Duke?  They simply want to go to practice the next day or in this case, the same day the game will end.

Monday Musings – Duke Basketball and Football, Coach K and the Cheerleader of the Week

Monday Musings continues it's tradition of presenting the Cheerleader of the Week - BDN Photo, Rick Crank

The Duke Blue Devils football team closed out the season with a 24-19 loss to North Carolina while the men's basketball team headed to Singler-ville bringing home a win over Oregon this past week.  This week the football staff starts concentrating on recruiting while the men's team prepares for Michigan State in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and we discuss all of this and more in our latest Monday Musings offering.

Good homecoming for Kyle Singler

Duke took care of business in Portland after spending time with Team Singler, aka, his family.   Singler dropped 30 points, his career high in the win over Oregon but the feeling here is that he will break that tally again.  Unless you've been sleeping under a rock you know that Singlers family is very athletic and competitive and Kyle who grew up watching film on Celtic great Larry Bird could be at the top of the list. 

Another test awaits the Blue Devils

Okay, it's no secret that this years edition of the Duke Men's Basketball team is loaded with talent and each game is a lesson for the long season to come.  On Wednesday evening Michigan State the consensus pre season #2 rated team comes into Cameron in a game that will have the place rocking.  The fact that the Spartan's dropped an early season game will only make them tougher and they're getting healthy after some nagging injuries.  Duke will face a team deep enough to challenge their depth and present some pressure on the defensive end.  The bottom line is that Michigan State is the best team Duke will have played to date andwill be one of the best teams they play all season long.  Many feel the two will eventually run into each other for a second time come March Madness.

As I said, it's a long season ahead

The media will continue to build Duke up after every win eventually claiming them to be unbeatable should they continue their winning ways.  I feel Duke is the nations best team in November but the season has four solid months to go and lots of things can happen along the way.  We are also hearing  chirping of the team going undefeated and all I can say to that is temper your expectations for it will not happen.  Still, Duke should develop along the way and it is frightening to think of what they'll look like come seasons end should their chemistry be intact.

Meanwhile Coach K keeps knocking down wins

Count from one to eight hundred and one and tell me how ridiculous that is when you think each number that rolls off your tongue is a victory for Mike Krzyzewski.  We'll drop you a hint that the UNC-Greensboro game could be one for the record books for if all goes as planned that will be the one where a huge milestone is set.  Can you figure out what that milestone will be?  And for what it's worth Coach K is so far ahead of other active coaches in weeks he's spent as the nations top ranked team that it's not even worth mentioning how far Roy Williams is behind him and the Heels coach is in 2nd.

Football season comes to an end

Duke finishes the season at 3-9 but they lost four ACC games by a touchdown or less.  I don't think Cutcliffe and company will worry with that more than getting the team physically stronger.  The goal is to realy hit the weight room hard at certain positions, reevaluate team personnel and acclimate newcomers into a solid group of returning players.  Next season will be the first year Cutcliffe has all of his players on the roster for the first time.

Sean Renfree

After a season of learning, look for Duke quarterback Sean Renfree to come back with a vengeance.  Renfree is the kind of kid that'll work his butt off in the off season and don't look now, but he will be one of the most experienced signal callers in the league as other schools break in new players at his position.

Let's take a peek at next seasons schedule

It's never to early to look towards next season, so here is the 2011 football schedule - Duke will play Richmond, Tulane, Stanford, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest at home and will visit Florida International, Boston College, Miami, Virginia and North Carolina on the road.  Duke will liklely be favored to win five of those games in the pre season, so a six win season of bowl eligibility could come to fruition.
Talk about rebuilding
My girls, the Duke Cheerleaders, will lose seven senior members after this season!  That has to be a record.  Anyhow, congrats to them and thanks for cheering your last football game at Duke on Saturday. 
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Follow Blue Devil Nation on twitter and participate in contests to win free BDN Premium memberships.  We will ask for the point spread, leading scorer and such and the closest Devils fan to our requests gets your name in twitter lights and can join in on our private message board discussing all the latest Duke happenings, especially the recruiting front.  So, sign up today where we are taking picks for the actual score in the Duke-Michigan State contest.  Also, check out or Facebook group as well.  Lastly, I hope all of you who make up the Blue Devil Nation had a nice holiday break.

Michigan State will play Duke in Cameron

DURHAM, N.C. – [Press release courtesy of ACC.com] Duke, the 2010 National Champions, welcome Final Four participant Michigan State to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 1 in the premier matchup of the 12th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge will run from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 with all 11 games being shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

The Blue Devils return first team All-America candidates Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith along with seven other letterwinners, including Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins, for the 2010-11 season. Duke also welcomes a top 5 recruiting class featuring Kyrie Irving, Josh Hairston, Carrick Felix and Tyler Thornton.

Singler and Smith averaged 17.7 points and 17.4 points per game respectively a year ago, while the Plumlees combined for 8.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Curry, a transfer from Liberty, and Dawkins give the Blue Devils two sharpshooting weapons on the perimeter, while Kelly is a skilled stepout forward.

This year’s event – featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup -- will include 11 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest from the ACC and Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games and include two telecasts on ESPNU with ESPN and ESPN2 combining to televise the remaining nine games. ESPN3.com, the broadband sports television network from ESPN, will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts.

The ACC has won 10 of the first 11 Challenges with ACC teams winning 67 of the 108 games played. A year ago, the Big Ten won its first Challenge by a 6-to-5 margin. Road teams won six of the 11 games in 2009 and seven of the contests were decided by seven points or less, including four games by four of fewer points.

Duke, which lost its first game in the challenge last year, will look for its 11th win in the event, the most of any other team. The Blue Devils have won their two previous Challenge games against Michigan State, topping the Spartans, 81-74, in Durham in 2004 and, 72-50, in East Lansing in 2003.

2010 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):

Monday, November 29th

Virginia @ Minnesota

Tuesday, November 30th

North Carolina @ Illinois

Ohio State @ Florida State

Michigan @ Clemson

Georgia Tech @ Northwestern

Iowa @ Wake Forest

Wednesday, December 1st

Michigan State @ Duke

Purdue @ Virginia Tech

North Carolina State @ Wisconsin

Indiana @ Boston College

Maryland @ Penn State