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Duke Gone, Capel Goes On

There's not a lot of Duke news per se right now, other than dealing with the loss to Villanova.  It's not what anyone wanted, but it's reality and you have to deal with that and move forward.

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To paraphrase what Coach K said in a different time and context, if the worst that happens is that you lose a game, your life is pretty good.  Greg Paulus seems to understand that.

The different context?  He said something like that to Jeff Capel when Capel was struggling his senior year.  His suggestion to Capel was that though part of that year was tough on him, that he was loved and had enormous opportunities still to come.

Now he's got one, and look who it's against:  UNC, the team that he had his seminal moment against in college, when he hit that running half court jump shot to force the game to double overtime.

Capel, who has done a tremendous job with Oklahoma, now faces the Heels for a shot at the Final Four.  How's that for a full circle? Well it won't be unless the Sooners win, but they were very impressive against Syracuse.  Are they a great team?  Probably not.  They're a very good team with a great player and some guys who understand their roles, and they were smart enough to know that if Syracuse wants to sit back in a zone, you can make them pay a price from outside.

And on top of that, their great player, Blake Griffin, was, well, great.  He had 30 points and 14 boards and dominated Syracuse.  When we watch him, we can't help but think of Tim Duncan.  It's not that they play the same - they don't.  But he's impassive and hard to read like Duncan was.  He never seems to get too up or down.  And odds are after seeing him mow down Jonny Flynn that most opponents are going to get out of his way.