Friday, March 27, 2009

Duke routed from NCAA tourney

The Big East is guaranteed one spot in the Final Four. After Villanova's romp of Duke on Thursday in the East Regional, it's just a question of which Big East team will advance to Detroit.

Villanova hit nine of its first 12 shots of the second half to break open a three-point halftime lead and bury the cold-shooting Blue Devils. The Wildcats squashed Duke 77-54 to set up a matchup with Pittsburgh in the regional final on Saturday.

Nova's aggressive defense, a mix of man and a three-quarter trap, reduced Duke's trio of Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson to the "Little Three."

Henderson, Duke's leading scorer, missed his first 11 shots from the field and finished 1 of 14 with seven points. The junior wing didn't score until hitting two free throws with 1:10 left in the first half.

He wasn't the only Duke player who couldn't shoot. The Blue Devils made only 5 of 25 from 3-point range and 16 of 58 from the field.

Reggie Redding's 3-pointer at 8:44 pushed Nova's advantage to 56-40.

Scheyer responded with a 3 on the next possession but it was a fleeting hope for the Blue Devils who have lost in the round of 16 seven times this decade.

Scheyer finished with 13 points and Singler led the team wth 15. Duke ends the season at 30-7.

Guard Scottie Reynolds led a balanced Nova scoring effort with 16 points.

Pitt (1) beat Xavier (4) 60-55 in the first game, giving the Big East three of the four decided spots in the Elite Eight. The Big East improved to 14-2 in the tournament while the ACC fell to 5-6 with only UNC left.

The Big East still has a shot at all four Final Four spots.

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.

-- J.P. Giglio


JAT said...

Really a weak year for the ACC, no?

Does not bode well for the Heels.

Anonymous said...

Dook got rolled....and I love it! Its always a great day when the Dookies make an NCAA exit. Now, come on Dook fans. Go ahead and try to make yourselves feel better by saying the Heels will lose tonight. Don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out!! Go Heels!

Anonymous said...

Routed...Nice choice of words for the headline...I like the one I have used all year; OVER-RATED....That's right, they have been overrated all year in the polls and now it shows. All they are is a 3-ppoint shooting team with no inside game, and if they are not hitting the outside shot, then it's "bye bye, back to Durham"...I called it from last week that Duke would not make it past Villanova...


Anonymous said...

Duke's year = decent expectations; did what was expected of them

UNC's year = GARGANTUAN expectations; huge disappointment of losing their conference tourney and getting bounced by OU on Sunday.

ACC = overrated