Today is, almost certainly, the toughest second round game Duke has ever
had. We can't remember going in as a high seed and facing a team like
Kansas. And it's not like they're a terrible team. They're talented and tough -
and big. It's going to be tough for Duke, and tougher since Christensen's
concussion will probably keep him out again. Duke will have to hope they
can outquick Kansas and that the threes are dropping. If Battier gets hot from
outside, Duke will be much tougher than they were Friday.
Like Duke, Kansas starts a lot of young players, including former Duke
targets Nick Collison, who we saw play in Card, and Andrew Gooden.
Gooden's athleticism is similar to that of Casey Sanders.
Duke fans should probably be encouraged by the play of Horvath and Sanders on
Friday. Both played, in some respects, their best games of the season.
Horvath is known now as a shooter, but
They may both be needed against the big Jayhawks. The best deal,
though, would be for Duke to get hot offensively, press them defensively, and
control the game. We can hope, but it's not going to be easy.
Also, there's no doubt that the ACC-Big 12 hotlines will be smoking as
Kansas calls UNC for scouting info and Duke calls Missouri.
The Duke players all seem to understand that they were in a dangerous
situation on Friday and also seem determined not to repeat it. As we said
earlier, the poor performance against Lamar is fodder for Krzyzewski, and we
expect he'll try to make full use of it.