Blog Entry

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

Posted on: March 15, 2011 8:37 pm
Posted by Matt Norlander

Mike Krzyzewski is to the bracket-picking public what Keyser Söze was to interrogators in The Usual Suspects: The greatest trick the Duke coach ever pulled was convincing the world Kyrie Irving couldn't play.

Forget the First Four, the big news of the night is now Irving and the real possibility he puts on a Duke uniform some time in the next five days. Krzyzewski said at a Duke news conference Tuesday night that Irving had "a chance" at playing in Duke's second round game Friday afternoon.

Irving has tweeted
that nothing is set it toe -- ahem, stone -- about him playing Friday in Charlotte against No. 16 Hampton.

In case you're late to the 2010-11 college hoops party, Irving is considered one of the most valuable players in the game. With him, Duke was certainly a different team. A superior one. One many considered the runaway favorite until he injured his toe in the Devils' game against Butler in mid-December.

Then Ohio State didn't lose until mid-January, Jared Sullinger became a beast and Jimmer blew up the sport. Since then, Duke's been a bit of an afterthought. The thinking, for most, was that Irving was highly unlikely to play again this season because Duke claimed all along it wouldn't chance Irving hurting the toe again, lest he damage his draft stock; Irving is a consensus top-five pick.

If Irving plays, it's a completely different deal here, this whole bracket. If Irving can play, he should. If Irving is healthy, hallelujah, the stakes have been raise. His presence turns the NCAA tournament on its ear, as Duke would immediately be put in Kansas and Ohio State's class re: title-winning odds. Even Jay Bilas is rethinking his picks at the moment.

And, man, would things get really exciting really quickly. I don't have Duke in my Final Four at the moment. I don't even have it in the Elite Eight. With Irving, I have to pump-fake on that notion. And you should, too. What we saw from Irving in the first five weeks of the season was serious, NBA-ready ability. For the betterment of Duke and raised interest in the tournament Irving needs to play if he can. The more NBA-caliber players in The Dance, the better.

I've never been so happy to be hoodwinked.

Photo: AP

More NCAA tournament coverage
Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: March 18, 2011 10:55 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

Who is the 2nd good post player that you guys add? I hope you are not counting the Wear twins. :-) You add a 3/4 combo in James Mcadoo (another 1-2 year guy) and P.J. Hairston who, at 6-5, I hope isn't a back to the basket kind of fella. You want to get better in Roy's system? How long is that going to take, it's not like he just got there! I can't wait until Duke gets better in K's system! LOL. We beat you 2/3 times without our best player. Admit that. By the way, while you are busy reading all about Duke and UNC recruiting (which you obviously don't Mr. "post player Hairston") think about this. UNC will have at least 2, but probably 3 new starters next year. Duke will have 1-2. To save you all of the trouble of "looking up the recruiting" like I know you do all of the time, I will break it down for you...

James McAdoo 6'8'' combo forward
PJ Hairston 6'5'' SG/SF

Austin Rivers 6'4'' SG (#1 in the country) McDonald's P_layer of the Year
Michael Gibinje 6'5'' SF
Marshall Plumlee 7'0'' C
Quinn Cook 6'1'' PG
Add the possibility that Erik Murphy may enroll a year early, he is a 6'8'' SF.

I am not on a Duke bandwagon, I am a lifelong Duke fan. You don't know your a$$ from your elbow, so you should probably be the one to shut your mouth. Do your homework and go to bed. Bye-bye.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: March 18, 2011 10:46 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

You guys are hilarious. You beat us at home, not crushed us. We beat you at home and on a neutral site. And to the person that said I must pay attention to recruiting, get a grip. Barnes and at least Harrison will be gone. McAdoo and Hairston are highly ranked, but so was Bullock, how is he doing? We have Austin Rivers, Quinn Cook, Michael Gbinije, and Marshall Plumlee coming to town. I am sure that it's frustrating to have players like Ed Davis leave early, but that is who Old Roy recruits, kids that can't keep grades up long enough to graduate. That is not Duke's fault. Should we be excluded from the NCAA tourney because we have players that will have a degree? You sound like Jalen Rose. Also, check your facts, there are more NBA players from duke than UNC, and our's actually play. How many minutes has Brendan Wright gotten this year? Or last. Or the year before? I will say it before you do, you had Michael Jordan, I know, I remember. Now that Kyrie Irving is back, we have an even greater chance to win the whole thing. UNC also has a chance, but only a child would think that they have better odds than Duke. If you guys are so much better than us, why did we get a #1 seed? You say that we didn't beat anyone, but we beat more tourney teams than you did. Gonzaga, Michigan State, Marquette, UNC twice, Clemson, Kansas State. To think that you are a more successful program is just unrealistic. In the last 25 years, you guys are good, but we are better. It is what it is. You guys are one of the best, just not better than us. You are correct about one thing, you guys made it tough for us with Hansbrough. Wow, he was a great college player. You want to talk about NBA? He has been the backup for Duke's Josh McRoberts for most of the season. He really was a stud in College, and he kicked our tail a lot. Maybe you guys should recruit more 4 year, or at least 3 year players. After that UNC game tonight, I think it's unrealistic to expect more than 1 of your big 3 back next year.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: March 17, 2011 4:13 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

Hey Cster0905...6 of the last 8?...that could be correct, but I do believe that Duke has taken 21 of the last 31 overall.  So you can go back as far as you want...let's talk CURRENT...not the 1957 National Champ crap as so many Tarheel fans want to bring up.  The real fact is that Duke's program has been the envy of the nation for the past 15 or more years....30+ wins a year are a long as the best coach in college basketball and the soon-to-be winningest coach of all times, stands on the sidelines in Durham the Tarheels will play 2nd fiddle...just sayin.

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: March 17, 2011 1:03 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

Thank you, jsawyer, for providing a good laugh. First, don't talk about how bad North Carolina is, with their flat-footed PG who can't shoot, when North Carolina crushed Duke with that 'inferior' team a little over a week ago. Duke returned serve this past weeked and props to them for that. They punished UNC for coming out flat, as they did all tournament. But don't pretend Duke fans can tell North Carolina fans what they can/cannot say. Duke looked clearly better than UNC in one of the three games they played this season. Just one. And who cares about last season? Dude, entering into last season UNC won 6-8 and won 2 national titles. Even with UNC's trip to the NIT Duke can't say the same. No reasonable UNC fan is jealous of Duke or any of their players. To be quite frank, North Carolina is a superior, more successful program so there is absolutely no reason to envy anything in Durham. But keep telling yourself that. The reality is (I'm just pointing this out b/c you mentioned it; nevermind how idiotic this comparison was in the first place) that Duke is closer to NC State than UNC will ever be. Finally, Duke fans, do yourselves a favor and stop pimping 82-50. You beat up a team that Dayton handled. Join the club. You hadn't won at home for 4 consecutive years. A graduating class at Duke never saw their team beat UNC at home until last season. I've never seen a group of fans so desperately cling to a single head-to-head game (I suppose it simply speaks to how badly UNC had owned Duke for years). Best of luck in the NCAAs, with or without Irving.

Since: Feb 20, 2007
Posted on: March 17, 2011 7:44 am

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

The best thing that can happen is Duke get bounced early no matte what.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: March 17, 2011 2:37 am

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

Enjoy the tourney this year, because Henson, Barnes, and Zeller are all going pro and you will be back on par with NC State. Also, why don't you get a PG that can shoot the ball? You guys are so jealous of Kyrie Irving. He would DESTROY your slow, flat-footed defense playing PG

you can tell jsawyer doesnt look up duke or unc recruiting or realize that barnes/zeller/henson are coming back and that unc adds 2 good post players while returning everybody that played this year....... so you may wanna shut your overly hyped happy to be on dukes bandwagon self down.unc not reloading lke how duke will next year unc will simply be plugging in players and getting better in roy system

please please please dont forget who runs tobacco road....131-101

Since: Jan 12, 2010
Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:39 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

jsawyer..Its easy to brag about the last 2 years i guess...You guys got absolutely OWNED during Hansborough's 4 years of dominance over ur team. And way to sound so happy about our guys leaving early for the NBA. Must be nice to be a Duke fan..your guys always staying 4 years...UNC would OWN this rivalry is our guys stayed, if we for once could have a team actually play together for more than 1 season. You call that an excuse..we call it being realistic. I mean, imagine if Singler and Smith had left school guys wouldnt be shit this year. I have a lot of respect for Duke..I dont trash talk them...But you have to admit that we dont have experience like ur team does..Your 2 main players, the ballhandler(Smith) and go to guy(Singler) are seniors...Playing against Marshall(true freshman) and Barnes (true freshman). I think even a Duke fan would admit thats tough to expect our 18, or 19 year olds to beat Duke in the conference tourney final..It meant way more to ur seniors...What was UNC's weakness in last years NIT year??..Guard play....Hmmm...Man it would have been nice if Ty Lawson, PG, and Wayne Ellington, SG, both NBA players, would have returned to school like...oh i dont know...

And its funny how quickly Duke fans forgot about that season finale BEATDOWN in Chapel, you know, a game that REALLY mattered. All i heard was excuses from Duke fans after that just shut the fuck up about excuses. Hows Scheyer, Thomas and Zoubeck doing in the NBA??..Oh WAIT...SILLY ME..I would be better off asking Ed Davis about NBA life. Man, i wish that guy stayed too. Experience matters SO much in collge ball...Duke fans know this for a fact...they won last year despite the fact that Kentucky was clearly the best team..Kentucky choked...typical for a freshman dominated team. And Duke fans shouldnt brag about last years easy road trip to the final cultivated by a 2 point win over juggernaut Butler..Bragging rights is our '09 title team, ranked 1st most of the year(u guys never cracked the top 3 last year in any poll) and put on a 17 point title game beatdown of Mich. St and Coach Izzo. Keep living in the last week Duke fans. Just forget about that Chapel Hill beatdown and only talk about the acc tourney.

Best of luck to both teams in the tourney. And please stay in school Zeller, Henson and Barnes. We will dominate next year if you guys stay..Im sure Duke fans are just waiting to hear that they are leaving so they can start trash talking and celebrating..They dont want to have to play our NBA studs next year..and in this world where Duke has that golden horshoe up their ass, you know they're leaving early.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 10:50 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

You are a complete moron. First off, learn to spell. Dook isn't really all that offensive, not like Tarhole would be. We beat you 2 out of 3 times this year, we beat you twice last year. You start more McDonald's High School All Americans than we do, yet through superior coaching and work ethic, we still win. UNC is a joke. You retired Brendan Haywood's jersey, how sad and pitiful. If you weren't 15, you would be aware of precedent. Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand both were in similar situations, injuries close to NCAA tourney time. They did not disrupt chemistry. That is an excuse that you guys would use. All Duke fan's ask is that if we cannot defend our title, we would at least like to have all of our team playing. If we lose, then so be it. You went to the NIT last year after we beat you 82-50, what in the world makes you want to talk trash with Duke fans? I would take it more from a Florida State fan. Until you make the tourney (I mean the big one, not the NIT) in back to back seasons, you should sit quietly and enjoy that we aren't focused on you. Enjoy the tourney this year, because Henson, Barnes, and Zeller are all going pro and you will be back on par with NC State. Also, why don't you get a PG that can shoot the ball? You guys are so jealous of Kyrie Irving. He would DESTROY your slow, flat-footed defense playing PG.

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: March 16, 2011 9:16 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered

I hope he does play, it will be interesting to hear the excuses as to why dook lost with him playing. I can hear em now
Hey tarskin, I mean FUDOOK. You know all about excuses dont you? How many did you guys use for the loss to Duke the other day? The Refs. We were tired. Roy does not care about this tourney. We only care about the regular season and the big dance. Not all of the Tarheel fans were crying or making excuses. Just the ones that dont know much about Basketball, such as yourself.

My favorite was "they were tired". UNC lost that game in the first 10 minutes. Why were they tired in the first 10 minutes? I can see if they they fell off in 2nd half, but they showed more life in the 2nd half. So that "arguement" makes no sense whatsoever. 20 year old kids tired in the first 5 to 10 minutes? If that is true, than all the blame goes to Roy and his staff for not having them in better condition.

I believe there were only two reasons UNC lost that game, and they both are tied together.

1) Inexperience.... Underclassman vs. Upperclassman.

2) UNC came out nervous. You could see that in the first 5 minutes.

Good luck next year in the Duke invitational Laughing

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 8:24 pm

If Irving comes back, entire bracket gets altered


There is a IQ limit of 50 required to post on these forums, so do all of us a favor and stop posting, you retarded tool.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or