The Duke Blue Devils came into John Paul Jones Arena to face Virginia and left with a blowout win. The #5 team in the nation took out the Cavs 67-49 in front of a packed house. Virginia was doomed from the start as their star player Sylves Landesberg warmed up before the game but sat out with a thigh bruise. Landesberg scored 27 in UVA's last game against Miami.
Duke's Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler combined for 41 (8 points shy of tying Virginia's entire team) and were the only Blue Devils in double-figures.
Although the game was about as entertaining as Duke's "Great Moments in Cinematic History", the atmosphere and, more importantly, the media room buffet were great.
Here are a few random notes from our final stop on this man-tastic voyage:
John Paul Jones Arena is awesome. I can see why SI.com named it the "Best New Arena" of the decade. It's like an NBA arena but with the feel of the college atmosphere. Students fill most of the lower level of the arena with luxury suites surround both sides of the court behind them. If I could just make my way into one of the suites, there could be some heavy boozing and cougar hunting going down after the game.
JPJ holds 14,593 people in orange t-shirts and 14,000 of them get to participate in contests during breaks. At halftime, one student was unable to identify Eminem and Britney Spears in the "Hoo's that Face?" celebrity photo game.
John Paul Jones was a naval commander in the American Revolutionary War. He is not John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. He is not James Earl Jones of having a deep voice. He is not Paul Jones, Ricky Steamboat's NWA tag team partner. And he is certainly not Mark Paul Gosselaar of Saved By The Bell. (Although, all of the aforementioned people would make awesome arenas.)
Tony Bennett is the head coach of Virginia. It wasn't until the 5:00 minute mark in the second half that I realized it's not the same Tony Bennett that sang along with Barbra Streisand. Damn.
Duke is good. Or Virginia is bad. I think it's a mixture of both. Like Matt said earlier, I want to hate the Blue Devils but they're tough. I think they'll make a run in March but lack the dominant post presence to win it all.
Jon Scheyer is a candidate for National Player of the Year. Not really. But that's what the flyers in the media room said. Seems like a waste of print to me.
Virginia's Sammy Zeglinski is tough. Unfortunately, he's undersized. At 6'0, he's having a hard time defending and getting his shot off but he certainly isn't getting pushed around, either. I think we're watching a Charlottesville YMCA legend in the making.
JPJ Arena is the leader in t-shirt cannon technology. I don't know what's powering that fan-friendly weapon but it'll take your head off if you're not ready. I think everyone in Upper Level Row DD will be leaving with a new addition to their wardrobe. JPJ also has a tank known as the "Ball Blaster" which encourages fans to "catch the blue balls". As if the group of male students behind the cheerleaders need more of those.
JJ Redick jerseys were prevalent in the visiting section. Unlike his basketball career, JJ Redick jerseys are still relevant.
Duke fans travel. Not quite as much as we do, but more than the home crowd. The Blue Devils had quite the crowd showing tonight despite the insignificance of this game in the big picture.
I'm tired. As much as I'd like to keep on living the college basketball dream in a Kia Rondo, I don't know if my body can take any more Super 8's or gas station food. We have a 7 hour drive ahead of us and then the College Basketball Road Trip will be no more.
Stay tuned for a few tour wrap-up posts before we bid farewell for good.