Duke gets B.C. Friday night, and the best news is that Nolan Smith is listed as probable.Â Duke can obviously use him for his talents, but also he provides another level of depth that they'll need.
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B.C. of course beat Duke at their place earlier this season, 80-74, and shortly after that loss, Duke moved Elliot Williams into the lineup and became a different team, and it'll be interesting to see how they perform against the Eagles, who were certainly a challenge and will be this time as well.
Perhaps most importantly, the players believe they're a different team, and that they aren't near their peak.Â The last couple of years, the team wore down late and had nothing for the tournament.Â Doesn't seem to be an issue this time.Â That doesn't mean they'll win three games in Atlanta - there's no guarantee that they'll win anything (ask Clemson), but confidence is a huge asset.
As he has so often demonstratedÂ in the past, Coach K is a master of positive thinking: the 9:30 start can be useful to prepare for possible late starts in the NCAAs.Â Duke won't have a chance to shoot around in the dome before the game starts, which could be a problem, but we're guessing that the staff will be reminding the players that a basket is a basket is a basket, and that they're all the same height and they've done this tens of thousands of times in their lives.
Small note: time between games is very compressed this time of year, so we don't always get to do a preview.
- Blue Devils Prepare To Capture Second Championship Of The Year
- Featherston: Will Rebuilt Lineup Revitalize Duke in Postseason?
- Eagles advance to rematch with Duke
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