Before Coach K and the Cameron Crazies get too worked up about being singled out, let me explain the decision to turn part of this bracket into a mini-tournament of Duke hate. For starters, imagine the alternative. Think of all the Dukies who didn't make the cut: Carlos Boozer, Kyle Singler, Trajan Langdon, Brian Zoubek, Ryan Kelly, the Brothers Plumlee, Chris Collins, Thomas Hill, Alaa Abdelnaby, and many, many more. If Duke weren't confined to its own quadrant, half the athletes in the competition might be Blue Devils. And if they were peppered throughout all the regions, an all-Duke Final Four wouldn't just be a possibility — it would be a likelihood.As much as I hate to admit it, they're like the Yankees in that the hatred they inspire is a direct result of winning. Relentlessly winning. Despite being such unlikable jackwads year after year.
As an aside, this post immediately called to mind fond memories of 1999, when knob-shining pundits were calling that year's tournament "The Duke Invitational," because it was a foregone conclusion they would win it all.
Hah! That was the greatest tournament ever.
"But, why Laettner of all the Dukies?" you might ask. Because 1990. Because Scott Burrell and Tate George took us to such great heights ... and then this happened.
ᔥ Gerry Canavan