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: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:07 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Fair point.  And you're asbolutely right about Michigan.  As much as it pains me to say that.  Also agreed about the ordering of 1-2-3 (assuming nothing funky happens in Columbus, Syracuse or Lawrence - I certainly will be rooting for Penn St and Nebraska!).

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:06 pm

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Werewolf, you're thinking the exact thing I thought of last night when the game was winding down and Duke was about to lose.

I'd hate to be Virginia on Saturday afternoon.  They have to travel to Cameron Indoor to face Duke just after they lost a game they didn't expect to.  I can be the Blue Devils are running their asses off in practice today and shooting until their arms fall off after last night's performance.

Virginia is in for a long afternoon this coming Saturday.

Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:45 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

That FSU player on the front page looks a lot like Paul Pierce..

Since: Jan 5, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:35 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

He actually is trying to make a point of ohio state doesnt deserve to be number one. him and dennis dodd are never happy when their teams lose or when ohio state benefits. I think its actually pretty interesting that all three unbeatens in the top 5 have struggled against michigan. Michigan should have beaten everyone instead they lost in narrow margins to everyone. I'm not saying this to be a bummer on everyone and say michigan is the best becuase i'm just not. But i think michigan is a good team, they just can't close. Anyways the new running order should be OSU KU CUSE'. But then again you never know. Go Bucks!

Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:05 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

"Kansas and Syracuse fans will spend Monday afternoon complaining."

Come on, Parrish, you really can't say one nice thing about Syracuse ever, can you?  I doubt either team's fans will be complaining that much even if OSU comes out No. 1.  No one cares.  The fans are just happy ours teams didn't get Seminoled last night.

Get over yourself, Parrish.  You seem to be a troll intentionally antagonizing 'Cuse fans to rip you in comments here (and yes, I see the irony given that I've taken the bait).

Since: Dec 30, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:33 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

My guess is, they might be just fine but if they bring that weak garbage against Nova, they'll get ran off the court!

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:24 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Exactly right, Cusefan. Looking at the RPI and the quality wins, you can make a case that Ohio State should be ranked #4 of the four undefeated teams. And I'm an Ohio State grad. As well as a Syracuse grad. SDSU and Syracuse have the most top 50 wins of those four teams, Kansas and Ohio State tied for the least (each with two top 50 wins -- SDSU has five).

If it was me, I'd probably put it Kansas Syracuse Ohio State SDSU. And throw Duke somewhere in that mix. But as you say, it does not matter in January. Not one tiny bit.

Far more important is for Syracuse to get it done at home against Cincinnati. And then we get to wait a couple of days for a great game at Pittsburgh. Pitt will be the favorite at home. The way SU plays to their competition, if the team that beat Seton Hall shows up, SU loses. But if the team that decimated St John's and beat ND is on the court with Pitt, Orange win.

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:08 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Any team can be beten on any given night. Great teams lose, Mediocre teams win. That' part of what makes baketball magical. Glad to see Ohio State struggle with Michigan, glad to see Duke lose, and glad to get out of Ames with a win. But, we will lose, and in the end, it will be good for us. Us, the team, not us, the fans.


Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:43 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

Duke will still be among the contenders come March, Ohio State, Kansas and Syracuse will end up with a few losses before then as well. Lets not get carried away by a single loss, conference games are always tough and they take their toll. Duke got theirs out of the way earlier rather than later, hardly an issue but yes, I grant you, we now know they are beatable!
But now the problem of how far to drop them? Ohio State certainly moves to #1. Does Kansas move to 2? How about Syracuse to 3? It seems to me tough to put Duke ahead of an undefeated team but maybe they do drop in ahead of say SU? Do you drop Duke just before Pitt, they too have an argument they should be ahead? Then comes undefeated San Diego State, a lesser schedule but NO LOSSES, This will be fun come Mondays rankings!

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:32 am

So I was at Vanderbilt one night and ...

What exactly did Kyrie irving do to his big toe that is keeping him out  for the whole season?  Turf toe, gangreen, amputation?

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