Blog Entry

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:06 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 1:53 am
NASHVILLE -- Someday my grandchildren will ask where I was the night the reigning national champion and top-ranked Duke Blue Devils lost to a Florida State team that had previously lost to an Auburn team that had previously lost to pretty much everybody -- my grandchildren will probably never ask that, I know, but just play along -- and I'll look those precious little things in the eyes and mumble four words: Talking to Festus Ezeli.

That's life in this job, huh?

You drive through snow and sit in a gym with weird bench placement because a game at Memorial between Georgia and Vanderbilt figures to be among the night's best, and by the end of the night you're sitting in a gym with weird bench placement watching a TV showing Florida State fans storming the court after an improbable 66-61 victory over Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils. I mean, Florida State lost to Auburn earlier this month, and Auburn might not win another game this season unless Cecil Newton has another son who can A) really hoop, and B) get eligible by February.

Short of that, I'm not optimistic.

Auburn stinks this season.

But Auburn somehow beat Florida State.

And now Florida State has somehow beaten Duke.

So let me tell you what it means and what it doesn't mean.

It means:
  • Duke is vulnerable without Kyrie Irving.
  • Ohio State will likely be the new No. 1 on Monday afternoon.
  • Kansas and Syracuse fans will spend Monday afternoon complaining.
It does not mean:
  • Duke is seriously flawed.
  • Duke was overrated.
  • Duke can't repeat.
Just as people were over-the-top with the Duke-might-go-undefeated talking point from November until about 45 minutes ago, folks will now spend a few days picking the Blue Devils apart. It's how we do things in 2011, and it's inevitable. So let me go ahead and address the question many will ask.

Question: Does Duke have problems?

Answer: Yes.

But Duke's problems are still probably smaller than everybody else's problems.

Don't ever forget that.

Duke took a bad loss on the road late Wednesday, sure. It happens in this sport. But the Blue Devils still have two All-Americans, a terrific supporting cast and the nation's most accomplished coach. So though I understand why you might be concerned that Duke couldn't do Wednesday what Auburn did last week, focusing too much on that fun little fact is good way to skew reality and lose sight of the larger picture.

Bottom line, the Blue Devils are still really good.

They're just not perfect.

But neither is anybody else.

So my guess is that they'll be just fine.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 21, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:37 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

I saw a really great game in a gym with incredible atmosphere.  I witnessed a terrific dunk by Jeff Taylor, saw a great coaching job by Kevin Stallings.  I saw a Vanderbilt team that should go far in the tournament.  I had such a great time I didn't care what was going on in any other basketball games.  Go Dores!!

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 8:38 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

If Ohio State loses this weekend and Kansas wins, Kansas will be the new #1!

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 7:40 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Kansas and Syracuse fans will spend Monday afternoon complaining.What do you mean; if they are both unbeaten still and get ranked below Duke?  I would imagine so; Duke just lost to an unranked FSU who was beat by Auburn as you pointed out.  This would make Duke imperfect where if Syracuse and Kansas are both still unbeaten; I do believe that means perfect.  see following.......They're just not perfect.

But neither is anybody else.

I would beg to differ here.  Ohio State; Kansas, Syracuse and San Diego St disagree as well.  All four teams have perfect records.  As opposed to Duke's imperfect record; couple with the fact that they haven't played anyone at all.  Syracuse gets knocked for the lack of road games but Duke has played Oregon who sucks and UNC greensborough who sucks even worse.  These being the only two teams they have played on the road.They also do not play anyone for the rest of the year.  So why should the imperfect team with a soft schedule be #1 again?

Since: Aug 2, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 5:49 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Still a very good team and will probably be back at #1 before the end of the season and be a #1 seed by tourney time.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 5:46 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Mikinova you are just plain dumb. No way SDSU gets a 1 seed. NO WAY. They play in a joke conference with a joke schedule. Do you KNOW how the seeding process works? record ain't everything. Top 25 rank ain't everything. RPI, SOS, quality Ws and bad Ls come into play. Big East champ (reg. season/ tourney champ or both) gets a 1 seed. Maybe its Syracuse, maybe it Pittsburgh, maybe its somebody else. There are many good Big East teams this year. Possibly 2 Big East #1 seeds, though I deem that unlikely. SDSU will not get a number one seed UNLESS THEY GO UNDEFEATED. 1 loss will put them right on the edge. You can't just look at a teams record to determine their seeding. I could produce a 30-0 team and not get a number one seed if I'm playing against teams with no better than a .500 win percentage. I understnad where you are coming from but its just not how things work. If it ended today, Kansas, Ohio St, Syracuse and Duke all get top seeds and Pittsburgh fans are left to complain about their 2 seed EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE MORE DESERVING. Duke has major media bias in its favor (but at least they are a great ballclub so we can't complain that much) so if they are close, they will get a #1 seed even if another team is a little bit better. SDSU is from a nothing conference so they won't get as much respect come seeding time.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 3:27 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Why would I be concerned about Duke losing to Florida State last night.  I hate Duke (mostly I hate Coach K) and don't care if they lose every game they play.  That would make me extremely happy!

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 2:52 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

What has happened to the Plumlees?  The older was better last year.  The younger one looked great early this season and it looks like Coach K doesn't have much confidence in either one of them.  Duke fans should be concerned because as much as Singler and Irving and Smith can do, at crunch time you don't want to have your opponent know they can get a basket or foul shots every time they post down low.

Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 1:37 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

phoggydog - thanks.  Sorry, yes, I must root for - ugh, ouch - the - um, gulp, oy- 'Huskers.  But I'll agree to do it quietly.  That is, if Parrish can agree to make one purely positive, unqualified remark about Syracuse without some countervailing, "on the other hand" quip.  Just one.  You can do it, Parrish - I will you the power to strike those keys.

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2011 1:12 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

So who, Mlknva, are you looking at as #1s?  Kansas, who will likely win the Big 12.  EITHER Syracuse or Pitt, who will win the Big East.  OSU, or whomever pans out as Big 10 champ--Purdue, perhaps?--and then where are they going to go?  Are you seriously telling me that a Duke team that wins the ACC, likely with no more than 2 losses and having beaten a no-doubt-soon-to-be-ranked UNC twice, is going to be overlooked for a #1 in favor of either the Big 10, the Big 12, or the Big East runner-up?  This ain't the BCS!

At this point , the statement is not true. Duke should at least temporarily moved to a 2 seed . Pitt has a stronger resume and even though their Tenn loss was at home, it was a while ago and to a much better team than FSU.

Read the post, I did not say Duke would not get a 1 seed. At this point, PITT has a stronger resume. On selection Sunday I do not think PITT or Syracuse will get 1 seeds. They will both have 3-5 losses. San Diego has a better shot at a 1 seed than SU or PITT.

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:29 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Good comments so far, Moose. But, must you root for Nebraska?

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