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Next Up - Minnesota

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There's not a lot of secrets to a Tubby Smith team. They're fairly conservative, they pack the lane, and they play hard.

But his Minnesota teams have been more like his Georgia teams talent-wise than his Kentucky teams, although his better teams there inherited players from Rick Pitino.

But Orlando "Tubby" Smith (the name comes from his childhood and has something to do with a basin but we forget the details).

Minnesota is deep and fairly athletic: they're playing nine guys in double-digit minutes and two others aren't far away.

Rodney Williams and Austin Hollins lead the way with 14.5 per game each. Williams is shooting an astounding 73.5% from the floor.

But to be fair, the competition to date hasn't exactly been rugged: they've played American, Toledo, Tennessee State and Richmond, and they scored 72 against everyone except Tennessee State (they had 82 in that one).

But the other enduring characteristic of a Tubby Smith team is that they tend to start a bit slowly before really rounding into form (this was not true in the last two years, when they finished 6-12 in the Big Ten and last year lost 10 of their last 11 in a season marred by controversy and suspensions).

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One of those guys was Trevor Mbakwe, who missed a jail sentence last year for a DWI. He also is coming off an ACL surgery last December and is now coming off the bench. You might think that's not that great for him but consider the luxury for his team: a top reserve is a highly experienced senior who is strong and very capable.

For the Devils, one hopes Mason Plumlee builds on his great year to date and Ryan Kelly is smart, tough and reliable. It might not be easy for Seth Curry to play three games in three days with his leg ailing, but Duke will need him. They've rested him accordingly.

Duke will also need solid play from Quinn Cook. We're huge fans of Tyler Thornton's, but Cook can go places he can't. The better he is, the better Duke is.

They'll probably also need some solid bench play from Josh Hairston and either Amile Jefferson or Alex Murphy.

We'll be really curious to see how Rasheed Sulaimon responds in his first big game. Don't get us wrong - Kentucky certainly was. But not many of Kentucky's key players are more experienced than Sulaimon. Duke suckered Kentucky a fair amount during that game, something John Calipari noted in an unpleasant way when he accused Duke of flopping. The truth: Duke's older players took advantage of Kentucky's younger ones.

That could happen to Sulaimon too: Minnesota is a very experienced team and most freshmen hit an opponent which schools them. Sulaimon is very smart, very mature, but he's still a rookie. There's a lot to learn.

Still, Duke has a good chance here. And while it's been a while, don't forget the Kentucky comeback in 1998. Under Coach K, Duke has always argued against revenge, with K saying that means you're focusing on a previous failure.

Still, it's hard to not notice how competitive Duke is against coaches and teams that they've lost to. Remember the famous post-Virginia scene when Duke lost to Ralph Sampson's last team and Coach said "here's to never forgetting tonight?"

Duke didn't; they beat the crap out of Virginia for years.

They came back against Vegas in a big way in 1991.