Unfortunately the Final Four dream of the Blue Devils ended last night in Boston at the hands of what looked like an unbeatable Villanova team. I haven't seen a better team play defense all year and that is why I am not surprised Duke shot 26%. Duke look flustered and had multiple possessions where they were fighting the shot clock.
Part of the problem was that Duke has 4 players (McLure, Williams, Zoubek, Thomas) that almost never look for their shot. In fact those 4 players played 72 combined minutes and only shot the ball 7 shots. Compare that with the Singler, Scheyer and Henderson who played a combined 100 minutes and shot the ball 45 times. That means per minute the big three (Singler, Scheyer, and Henderson) were more than 4 times as likely to shoot the ball than first 4 players I mentioned. And of course those last 4 players just happen to include the 3 rotating post players on Duke's team.
Whenever I think of Duke's post problem I always wonder what Patrick Patterson and Greg Monroe are thinking. These are two of the top post players in college basketball and both were Duke recruits that instead decided to go to Kentucky and Georgetown. That didn't work out well for either Duke or those players. Duke didn't have a post player all year for an otherwise Final Four caliber team. Patterson and Monroe played for two teams that didn't even make the NCAA tournament. In the "What Ifs" of this season the *biggest one for me is "What if Greg Monroe and/or Patrick Patterson decided to go to Duke." My guess is it would have worked out well for both sides.
*The only "What If" that might be bigger is "What if Ty Lawson wouldn't have had his music too loud back in June.
In other news Miami University is in the NCAA tournament up here in Minneapolis. Of course being a huge fan of my alma mater I decided to take M on a date to Mariucci Arena. Miami was playing the top seeded Denver Pioneers. I don't know much about hockey, but after watching the game it seems surprising that Denver was a top seed. They looked terrible and the Redhawks was able to jump out to a 3-0 lead before holding on for a 4-2 victory. That means they play tomorrow night for a spot in the Frozen Four. Below are some pictures from the game tonight.