Monday, March 7, 2011

Krzyzewski touts Duke, UNC for Charlotte

DURHAM – Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday that he thinks the Blue Devils and rival North Carolina deserve to open their NCAA tournament play in Charlotte this season.

Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena will play host to NCAA tournament games on Friday, March 18 and Sunday, March 20.

Duke (27-4) was ranked No. 5 and North Carolina (24-6) was No. 6 in The Associated Press’ poll on Monday, two days after the Tar Heels’ 81-67 win over Duke.

When possible, the committee that selects the NCAA tournament tries to keep teams with regional seeds of No. 1 through No. 4 close to home. Duke and North Carolina both seem certain to secure seeds of No. 4 or higher.

If the Tar Heels and Blue Devils both play in Charlotte, they will be in separate “pods” or brackets, and wouldn’t face each other there.

“We probably should be there, and I’d rather be there,” Krzyzewski said of Charlotte during a news conference Monday, “because it’s closer, and. . .it’s Friday-Sunday, too. So if you do go to Sunday in the ACC championship game, it’s really a lot better for both of the two teams that play Sunday to be given a Friday-Sunday thing.”

During the ACC coaches’ teleconference Monday, North Carolina coach Roy Williams also sounded receptive to playing in Charlotte.

"I'm sure that we would all love it, but you've heard me say before -- it's not just where you play, but how you play when you get there,” he said. “But there's no question it would be a lot easier for everybody, just to travel and the accessibility for our parents and fans and everyone."

Williams said he doesn’t pay attention to seeding, but laughed and said he prefers to play some place where there is warm weather.

Ohio State (No. 1 in The AP and coaches’ rankings), Kansas (No. 2) and Pittsburgh (No. 3) are favorites to secure three of the No. 1 regional seeds. But there’s a chance Duke or North Carolina could secure a No. 1 seed, too.

Krzyzewski said he expects Duke to be rewarded for its strong regular season with a high seed.

“I would think it’s at least a 2, no matter what happens [in the ACC tournament],” Krzyzewski said. “And it could be a 1.”

Duke held its pre-ACC tournament news conference Monday afternoon, and its players still were frustrated with their performance Saturday with the conference regular season title on the line.

The Blue Devils broke down defensively against the Tar Heels and gave up 51 first-half points.

“We feel like we could have won that game if we had the right mind set and effort to stop them,” said Duke senior guard Nolan Smith. “. . .I think everybody’s mad. They know we messed up.”

With spring break taking place this week, players will have extra time to improve and catch up on their rest as they prepare to meet the N.C. State-Maryland winner at 7 p.m. Friday in the ACC quarterfinals in Greensboro.

“We haven’t had just a week to get better and practice in a while,” said junior center Mason Plumlee.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Nice copy and paste of Roy Williams' comments from InsideCarolina. Next time, try Paste... Merge Formatting.

Anonymous said...

where exactly does K tout UNC? I don't see it once in the article.

He does mention the "two teams that play Sunday" but doesn't say UNC.

Anonymous said...

"if you go to's a lot better for both"...he does not guarantee either school will play Sunday but probably assumes the odds are good that they never know in the ACC tourney. Rather smart to lobby for the schools to have the extra day until Friday and short travel...

Anonymous said...

Sleeping giant...