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Congratulations To The Champs

There's really not too much you can say after losing the way Duke lost to
Maryland. There was a lot of adversity, but Duke had a good lead and
couldn't hold onto it. Maryland played the entire weekend with immense
passion and character, and they are deserving champions.

Our biggest concern was Chris Duhon's health, but he appears to be basically
okay, though he's likely to be sore for a few days. Perhaps this is a good
time to discuss padding equipment which needs to be courtside. The camera
has to be there, and we're sure the bar is a required part of the camera, but
couldn't it be padded? That still would have hurt, but maybe not as much.

As it turned out, Duke weathered his injury pretty well. There were
other problems to deal with, notably foul trouble and outside shooting. JJ
Redick is clearly in a slump. He has only hit 22% over the last six games
and missed two free throws this weekend, both of which led to audible gasps from
the crowd. Duke was 5-21 from three point range, which was not what you'd
Worse, Duke was 16-31 from the free throw line. By contrast, Maryland was 32-44.

So despite the loss, which stings, there's still plenty of basketball left to
play, if Duke plays well. Alabama State opens the tournament, and then,
assuming Duke wins, which seems safe since no #1 seed has yet lost to a #16
seed, they play the winner of Arizona and Seton Hall.

Statistically speaking, it seems probable that either Redick's shooting slump
should end. We mentioned before that we had read a study about athletes and how
hitting or shooting works. Basically, you are as good as you are, meaning
that a guy like Redick hits, say, 50%. So if he hits 25% for a while,
eventually the statistics will even out and he'll appear to be on what we all
call a hot streak. The study sort of refuted the whole idea of hot
streaks, but we read it a long time ago and don't have a clue where to find it
now. But the point is that it evens out over time, sometimes in bursts.
We're hoping JJ gets a few in the next couple of weeks. We'll have more on
the tournament shortly.