- Greensboro News-Record and Pulse of the Pack: I don’t like posting message board fodder here, but this appears to have some legs (that said, the letter has been pulled down from State Fans Nation). Reportedly, Debbie Yow wrote an email to several disgruntled fans about the actions being taken in regards to the ACC Tournament controversy. Basically (assuming the letter is true), it sounds like Yow is keeping fans overly informed with the inner workings of a high-major conference. Most of it is also unnecessary: Roy Williams’ “BB gun” comment is what it is, as is the Karl Hess situation. I expect this to disappear completely during the NCAA Tournament, but there’s a slim chance it resurfaces this summer.
- Raleigh News & Observer: Speaking of NC State, there are two things San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher complimented his upcoming opponent on during a recent news conference. First, the team is filthy in transition; and second, it’s very strong down low. Vegas also took note of NC State’s strong ACC Tournament, making the Wolfpack a one-point favorite over the sixth-seeded Aztecs. It should be a great game, and both teams have a very good chance of advancing fairly far in the Tournament.
- Miami Herald: As you probably already know by now, Miami missed the NCAA Tournament. It’s not totally clear by how much, but it’s a safe bet that the Hurricanes were at least past the last four out, as they only managed a two-seed in the NIT (the NCAA now owns the NIT too, so you’d think the seeds would be semi-continuous). It was the school’s first winning season in the ACC. I think the Hurricanes could make a run at the NIT title, as Tennessee is the top seed in their region and appears on paper to be a very favorable matchup for Jim Larranaga’s team.
- Washington Post: I don’t know if I agree with this post from Steve Yanda, who claims Virginia needs more production out of its bench. I think Virginia needs production out of the players who get playing time: If there’s an extended bench being used, it needs to be productive; if not, then why should it be? The two players in question are the replacements for Malcolm Brogdon (who broke his foot): Darion Atkins and Paul Jasperson. The two freshmen are going to get chances, as the Cavaliers only have seven available scholarship players.
- The Chronicle: Mike Krzyzewski has a history of taking issue with an article from The Chronicle from time to time. If he reads this one, I expect him to take issue with it. I certainly did. Let’s start with the second paragraph: I agree completely that Ohio State punched Duke in the mouth, and the Blue Devils didn’t respond well. I totally disagree that Temple beat Duke because “talent doesn’t make up for not being physical.” The Plumlees are incredibly physical, often to a fault. Temple has one of the best backcourt trios in the country and exploited Duke’s perimeter defense and a strong home crowd. Duke also hasn’t been just “at the center of positive media attention” all year: How many articles have you read panning Duke’s postseason chances, perimeter defense or reliance on three-point shooting? Next up was this paragraph:
Despite talent, impressive victories, a strong record and No. 2 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament, there seems to be a staggering lack of urgency within this year’s team. Because they have edged by with close wins all season and have only managed to lose six games, maybe this team did not fully understand that losing has serious consequences.
Duke has talent, but not the talent people are accustomed to seeing. I’m not sure where the team’s “lack of urgency” comes into play, though. Sure, Duke’s second halves are often better than its first halves (especially against the first game against NC State, Miami and Ohio State), but don’t forget the games where Duke has jumped out to an early lead (the first game against North Carolina, Virginia Tech, or at Georgia Tech). Consistency is the problem, which at least in part comes down to whether the threes are falling.