Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blue Devils on verge of being bounced

The combination of Duke's cold shooting in the first half and Villanova's hot shooting in the second, has Duke on the verge of leaving the NCAA Tournament.

Villanova leads the Blue Devils 49-33 with 11:44 left in the second half of the East Regional semifinal in Boston.

The Wildcats have hit nine of their first 12 shots in the second half — after Duke went 7 of 24 in the first half.

Nova (10 of 29) didn't shoot much better in the first half but seized control of the game with its aggressive with its man defense. The Wildcats have forced Duke into bad shots or rushed shots at the end of the shot clock.

Gerald Henderson, Duke's leading scorer, is 0-for-7 from the field with two points. The junior wing didn't score until hitting two free throws with 1:10 left in the first half.

Forward Dante Cunningham leads a balanced Nova scoring effort with nine points.

Jon Scheyer, 2 of 12, leads Duke with nine points.

Pitt (1) beat Xavier (4) 60-55 in the first game in the East Regional in Boston and awaits the Duke-Nova winner in the regional final.

On an officiating note, either the NCAA reads ACC Now (and has a sense of humor) or the luck of the random draw reunited Karl Hess and J.D. Collins — two-thirds of the officiating crew from the infamous Duke-FSU game in Durham on March 3.