Tag Archives: Duke NCAA Tournament

Duke Women earn #1 seed in Berkeley

4Coach P’s sixth rated Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team received its 15th straight NCAA Tournament selection and their possible road will be laced with drama.  The Blue Devils (26-5) were awarded the number one seed in the Berkeley Region and will play 16th seeded Austin Peay in the first round on Sunday, March 22, 2009 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.  The game will be televised live on ESPN and will tip off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
 
The Governors won their sixth Ohio Valley Conference championship with a dramatic 69-65 double-overtime victory over Eastern Illinois.   The winner will advance to face either Michigan State or Middle Tennessee.

Yes that is a possible match up with Joanne McCallie’s former team on their home court.  Middle Tennessee State will be considered the slight favorite, but the comforts of home could sway the game in the Spartans favor.
 
Michigan State comes in with a 20-10 record under Head Coach Suzy Merchant.  Should the Blue Devils and Spartans advance, this would be the first time McCallie has faced her former school.
 
Duke is coming off a heartbreaking 92-89 overtime loss in the ACC Championship to fourth-ranked Maryland.   Duke landed in the top spot in the west by plkaying a tough schedule where they had seven wins over the RPI top 25 and eleven wins over the top 50 teams.  Duke had resume building victories over second ranked Stanford, fourth-ranked Maryland, eleventh ranked North Carolina, thirtenth ranked Florida State,  nintenth ranked Tennessee and two wins against 25th-ranked Virginia. 

If Duke makes it past the first two games, they could play Tennessee for a second and if they get to the elite eight final, they could face Stanford again.  That’s what I call dramatic seeding.  Oh!  Did I mention a Coach G vs Coach P match up?  That’s right!  Texas is in the Blue Devils bracket as well.
 
The Blue Devils have advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 each of the last eleven years.  They reached  the Final Four in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2006.  Duke is one of only three teams, along with the Tennessee and Connecticut, to have advanced to the Sweet 16 the last 11 consecutive years.    Duke and Austin Peay will meet for the first time in school history.  Duke owns a 3-1 overall record against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference.  
 
Broadcast Notes -For the seventh consecutive year, the ESPN networks will combine to present all 63 games from the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. During the first two rounds, ESPN and ESPN2 will present the 48 games within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN360.com will offer complete game telecasts of all 63 games, while ESPNU will offer select ESPN and ESPN2 early-round games in their entirety.  

Tickets are available in the Michigan State ticket office and can be purchased by visiting www.msuspartans.com or by calling 1-800-GOSTATE.  Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for youth/seniors/MSU Students/Groups 15+ and are for two sessions on Sunday and one session on Tuesday for a total of three games.  Single-session tickets are $25 for the general public.

DURHAM, N.C. – Want to follow Duke women’s basketball during the 2009 NCAA Tournament but you’re not always around your computer or at your favorite web site, GoDuke.com?  Now the Duke Sports Information Office has made it easy to follow the Blue Devils anytime you want with an exclusive Duke women’s basketball page free on Twitter. 
 
You can find the Duke women’s basketball page on Twitter by searching for “DukeWBBSID” at Twitter.com. The Blue Devils’ Twitter page will be updated throughout the NCAA Tournament with “Tweet” (messages sent via Twitter) that contain news from the team, links to newspaper clippings, links to video clips and other information on Blue Devil hoops that cannot be found anywhere else.
 
You can receive updates via Twitter through the web at the Duke women’s basketball official Twitter page, on your mobile phone with text messages, via instant messaging (IM) or through e-mail. Whichever way you choose, you will always stay up to date with the Blue Devils!
 
Blue Devil fans can add the Duke women’s basketball Twitter page to their own blog, Facebook page or other social networking site. More information on how to do this can be found here.
 
Duke is awaiting the NCAA Tournament selection show on Monday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m., on ESPN.
 
Duke Women’s Basketball On Twitter
 
Question:  What is it?
Answer:  A free micro-blogging service that provides Duke fans with up-to-date info and insights on the Blue Devils.
 
Question: Where can I find Duke on Twitter and how often will it be updated? 
Answer:  Head to Twitter.com and search for “DukeWBBSID.”  It will be updated throughout the day.
 
Question: How will I receive the information? 
Answer:  Via the Web, text messages, instant messages, e-mail, RSS feeds, etc. 
 
Question:  What is Twitter? 
Answer:  Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as “tweets”), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.
 
Question: How do I sign up to follow Duke women’s basketball on Twitter? 
Answer:  Signing up (called “following” in Twitter lingo) for Duke women’s basketball on Twitter is very easy. Just log on to Twitter.com and search “DukeWBBSID.”  Alternatively, you can go directly to the Duke Twitter page by clicking here (http://twitter.com/DukeWBBSID). Either way you go about accessing the Blue Devil Twitter page, you will need to click on the button in the upper-left hand corner of the page that says “Follow.” This will allow you to instantly access up-to-date news about Duke women’s basketball via Twitter.
 
Question: How is it different from www.GoDuke.com?
Answer:  Twitter updates will provide more unique information and quicker information than GoDuke.com.  It provides a better source of feedback and discussion.  Followers can receive updates any way they choose: at Twitter.com, via cell phone, on Facebook or any other social networking site.
 
For those that are new to Twitter and have questions, here is a link to a help page.

Every player played a role in Duke’s ACC Championship run

The Blue Devils came together as a team to win the 2009 ACC Championship
The Blue Devils came together as a team to win the 2009 ACC Championship

It wasn’t that long ago when people were writing off the Blue Devils after a road loss against Boston College.  There were cries of this team has hit the skids or they are already burned out.  During press conferences, the Duke players get the same questions over and over with concerns to fatigue.

Well, the Boston College loss seems long ago now and the 2009 Duke Basketball team closed out the season in style by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and now look to the NCAA’s.  Krzyzewski praised his juniors, stating that they had been through adversity, but a closer look shows a story behind practically every player.   Here are some general thoughts on each player -

Kyle Singler- He has answered more questions concerning his physical being at the end of last season than he has his better moments this year.  Krzyzewski semi jokingly asked the media to ask Singler a question after his stellar opening round game against Boston College.  Make no mistake in that Singlers early play allowed Duke to advance.  You can bet that he will hear another question this week with concerns to his playing every minute of every game of the tournament.   Singler appears poised to make his presence felt, starting with Binghampton on Thursday.  Singler made the All Tournament Team, but was still fifth in the voting which makes me wonder what games were some media members watching?

Dave McClure- The senior has been through enough ups and downs with injuries to where it was good to see how much he contributed as the consummate role player this season.  His defense and hustle will be remembered as much as his shot to beat Clemson at the buzzer.  McClure brought some toughness and senior leadership when the Devils needed it most.  His back to back baskets against Maryland helped thwart comeback attempts.

Greg Paulus- Paulus has played through untimely injuries in the past two seasons.  What does it say about a player who made an All ACC team the season before to accept a role on the bench?  That takes character which is something Paulus has in spades.  Always the competitor, one has the feeling he has a couple of big shots left before he finishes his career.

Brian Zoubek- Like McClure and Paulus, Zoubs has battled injuries galore in his career.  The center grabbed some key boards versus Florida State.  He has been able to come back and contribute after hitting a mid season slump.  At some point and time, Zoubs is likely to get valuable minutes in this years tournament.

Lance Thomas- Thomas finds himself drawing tough defensive assignments.  The minutes he logs should tell you what the coaches think about him.  His hustling play is invaluable.  Thomas is due for a good showing on the offensive end and what better time to do that than the NCAA’s?

Elliot Williams – Duke could not have turned their season around if it were not for Elliot Williams play.  Williams has had a tough learning curve as a freshman, but he grabbed key rebounds in the tournament and his skills are something which you cannot teach.  He hit a slight wall of late, but he is still starting and his on ball defense will be crucial for a Devils run.  Williams just needs to keep his head up and continue to let the game come to him while working on his outside shot.

Nolan Smith – Smith played great minutes in the tournament and his play was very important to Duke’s championship effort.  Much like Williams, Smith came alive at the right time when production was hard to come by.  It appears that Smith has fully recovered from his injury.

Jon Scheyer- What can be said about Jon Scheyer?  He took over running the point and is playing as good as anybody in the conference.  Scheyer won the tournament MVP for a reason this weekend.  He’s showed no signs of becoming stale since Coach K made the change and he will be counted on heavily as Duke goes into the final days of March.

Gerald Henderson- Henderson came alive today and his play put Duke over the hump.  When Gerald goes, Duke goes, so it’s important for him to be consistent.  Henderson seems to be on a mission and he has blossomed into a leader.  The future is bright for Gerald and I implore you to worry about the here and now and not look ahead to anything other than this seasons games.  If you look ahead in worry and not live in the moment, then you will miss out on a lot.

Olek Czyz, Marty Pocius and Mile Plumlee- When Nolan Smith drove down the throat of the Seminole defense for a dunk, Czyz and Plumlee jumped off the bench with authentic glee.  Sure, these kids want some burn, but they are part of something special, a championship.  Don’t think they will not contribute in the NCAA’s for I have seen some strange things happen with rotations.  Still, they are a big help everyday in pushing their teammates in practice and supporting them.  How comforting is it to know that Duke can go deep to players like Marty Pocius if needed?

Duke will now have to put the hard earned championship behind them and focus on the game Thursday evening.  I would imagine they will be allowed to enjoy being ACC Champions through Monday, but then it will be back to business.  In order for Duke’s season to continue, each of the aforementioned players will have to find new ways to contribute, show up and make stops or a big shot when they have to.

Winning the ACC title is a wonderful achievement, but these guys can still make some more memories.  No matter what happens, this team came together when they had to and now own a trophy and a banner.  My guess, is that they are still hungry, but only time will tell if they advance further into March than recent years.