Duke Blue Devils
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | DUKE INSIDER
RECORD: 27 - 5 REGION: Atlanta SEED: 1|
COACH: Mike Krzyzewski CONFERENCE: ACC
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS
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Will lose when ...
A great, great team plays its absolute A-game ... and that still might not be enough.
Famous Last Words
The Blue Devils haven't been to a Final Four since 2001, a drought, by Duke's lofty standards. This crew should snap that streak.
Complete team report
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TO THIS POINT
How They Got Here: At-Large Bid
Duke barely broke a sweat -- and certainly didn't break the travel budget -- by hammering Alabama State and Seton Hall in Raleigh, N.C., this past weekend to advance to the Sweet 16 for a seventh straight year. Now, it's on to Atlanta, where the Dookies will face equally impressive Illinois, which dispatched of Murray State and Cincinnati in easy fashion.
One of only two No.1 seeds still standing, Coach K's club looks like the team to beat in the Big Dance now -- especially if it keeps playing killer D. Duke's defense limited Alabama State and Seton Hall to a 40.4 percent combined field goal percentage (27 percent from 3-point land) and just 61.5 points per contest. No wonder Duke has trailed for just 1:54 in two games of the 2004 NCAA Tournament so far.
The Blue Devils figure to be pushed much harder this week, though. Illinois took great care of the basketball against Cincinnati (26 assists, 4 turnovers), but the Illini's quick-as-a-hiccup point man Dee Brown will be hounded by Duke's defensive ace Chris Duhon in this one. Win that matchup and Duke will likely face a Texas team that's as deep as a Henry James novel as witnessed by the fact that 11 different Longhorns scored against North Carolina last weekend.
For the first time in five years, the Blue Devils entered the NCAA Tournament off a loss. But losing to Maryland in the ACC title game didn't cost the Blue Devils a top seed, nor should it have after the success it enjoyed in winning the ACC regular season by two games. Still, back-to-back defeats on the road at NC State and Wake Forest in February, as well as the loss in OT to the Terps and loss in Cameron Indoor Stadium to Georgia Tech to start March give pause. Then again, Duke did start 19-1 and lost just to Purdue in Alaska outside the toughest conference in the country.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Luol Deng | F | Freshman
The youngest Dukie may be the most cruicial to this year's Final Four quest. Deng was one of the country's top freshmen, but quickly grew into the latest Blue Devils' do-it-all player -- ranking in the top five in Duke history for freshmen in scoring and rebounds.