Commentary

West Virginia falls, Duke advances

Updated: April 4, 2010, 9:45 AM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

My friends, nobody is going to beat Duke when the big three "S" men -- Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith -- are on their game.

That was certainly true on Saturday night in the national semifinal. The trio combined for 63 of the team's 78 points in a convincing W against a tough West Virginia squad.

Singler came out and wanted to show that his last outing, an 0-for-10 shooting performance against Baylor, was a thing of the past. He was aggressive going to the basket and also stepped out and hit the trifecta. He finished with 21 points and nine boards, hitting three-of-five from long distance.

[+] EnlargeJon Scheyer
Bob Donnan/US PresswireJon Scheyer helped lead the Blue Devils to thier first NCAA title game since 2001.
Scheyer led the team with 23 points. He has hit 10-of-19 three-pointers over the last two games; so much for the claim of some that fatigue was a factor.

Nolan Smith has developed into a star. After scoring 29 points in the regional final, he had 19 more on Saturday. Just as impressive was his six assists without a turnover.

Duke as a team turned the ball over just six times against a very strong defensive-minded Mountaineer club.

Another key was the trifecta as Duke nailed 13-of-25. Remember, this was not Kentucky (four-for-32 from long distance in the regional final).

How strong was Duke's defense? It held Bob Huggins' team to just six field goals in the second half. I don't feel the Blue Devils defense gets as much credit as it deserves.

That was the most points allowed by West Virginia in its last 15 games.

Brian Zoubek has also become an important asset. He grabbed 10 more boards against the Mountaineers.

Duke gets a shot at a fourth national title on Monday night.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.