Found November 24, 2012 on
Duke Blue Devils
In a game with a couple of potential Final Four contenders with a couple of Hall of Fame coaches there are just so many side stories that could play out when Duke takes on Louisville for the Battle 4 Atlantis title.
Mason Plumlee has been Duke’s best player and will likely get a challenge againt Louisville.
Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino haven’t faced each other since 1992 in the famed Duke-Kentucky game in the East Regional Finals, a game considered by many to be the best college basketball game ever. It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since these two coaches have faced off and hard to imagine this game will be better.
Still this has the makings of a classic early season battle between two top 10 teams.
Duke earlier in the year took onPitino’s former team, Kentucky, and the game that featured Christian Laettner’s last-second game-winning, was a prominent story line in that game. Now with the two architects of that classic game squaring off in the Bahamas look for Duke-Kentucky circa 1992 to be featured prominently more than once.
But ultimately this is a game between the No. 2 Cardinals and the No. 5 Blue Devils that could end up being the early season game of the year. Both teams enter the game undefeated and both feature their fair share of weapons.
For Louisville they roll out junior guard Russ Smith who is averaging 19 points a game this year. Peyton Siva will lead Pitino’s offense against an improving Duke perimeter defense. Louisville’s second leading scorer Wayne Blackshear averages 10 points per game while the Cardinal have two others that are close to double digit averages.
But it isn’t the Cardinals offense that could be the most problematic, but its defense that could turn the tide in favor of Lousiville. Duke will have to handle the pressure and take care of the basketball if they want to win.
The Blue Devils will counter with Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee. Plumlee is averaging a double double on the season but is likely to see Louisville throw some big guys of their own to try and slow him down. Curry has been scoring almost as much as Plumlee despite a lower leg injury that has limited his practice time.
Duke also has capable players in Ryan Kelly and freshman Rasheed Sulaimon who are both averaging more than 10 points per game that could present matchup problems for Louisville.
The Blue Devils got a test from a very good VCU team while the Cardinals soundly beat No.13 Missouri to make it to the title game. Many might look at those two games as some indication that Louisville has a better team. However, Duke played a team whose defense may have better prepared them for the intensity they can expect to see today.
Louisville forced Missouri to play a sloppy turnover filled game and Duke can expect them to bring that same intensity tonight. Blue Devil point guard Quinn Cook continued his development dishing out 9 assists and benefiting from Plumlee and Kelly’s ability to handle the ball to help break the Rams’ press.
Expect Duke to employ a similar style of play if Louisville comes out pressing. If Cook and Tyler Thornton can take care of the ball and not give the Cardinals additional possessions, then you have to like the Blue Devils chances, especially if they shoot well. Still, this is likely to be Duke’s biggest test of the season on both ends of the court.
Louisville is arguably the best coached team Duke has faced and is experienced, talented and certainly worthy of their No. 2 ranking. It will take a complete game for the Blue Devils to win.
One thing of note to watch is how deep Krzyzewski goes into his bench. Duke essentially played seven guys substantial minutes and the teams’ conditioning could play a factor. Louisville equally played seven guys 10 or more minutes in their blow out victory against Missouri.
This game feels like advantage Louisville but I’d put it at a coin toss and whoever plays better defensively should win this game.
Follow us on Twitter @DukeBlogMKline and visit our Facebook page-Duke Sports Blog. Got questions? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was originally published at http://DukeSportsBlog.com. If you are interested in sharing your website's content with SCACCHoops.com, Contact Us.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
One of the great pleasures of college basketball is getting to watch players develop throughout their careers. I love the talent of the one-and-done guys. I love the microcosm of a career taking place over a single November to March stretch. But gimme the four-year guys. Those are the most interesting. Had Mason Plumlee jumped to the NBA after his juninor season (or before) we...
Mason Plumlee, a 6-foot-10 center who helped break VCU's pressure, had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 5 Duke to a 67-58 victory over the Rams on Friday night In the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Plumlee, who had 20 points and 17 rebounds in the opening-round win over Minnesota, brought the ball across midcourt several times in each half to help the Blue Devils...
The Duke Blue Devils kept their impressive streak of in-season tournament win alive as they took care of Minnesota, 89-71 behind 20 points and 17 rebounds from Mason Plumlee.
Mason Plumlee posted another solid performance in Duke’s victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.
Not to be out done was the performance of Seth Curry who scored...
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- Seth Curry scored 25 points and Mason Plumlee added 20 points and a career-high-matching 17 rebounds as No. 5 Duke's starters scored all but two of the Blue Devils' points in an 89-71 victory over Minnesota on Thursday in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Plumlee was coming off a career-high 28 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field...
Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry star as Duke won its opening round game in the Bahamas
It may not have been the NCAA Tournament but the Duke VCU game was no less entertaining as the Blue Devils held on to win 67-58 and advance to the championship game in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.
Mason Plumlee put up yet another double double showing he he is going to be a tough matchup for any team.
Duke won despite being out rebounded by the smaller VCU Rams. Mason Plumlee...
Minnesota put up some impressive defensive numbers in its first four games. Then the schedule got tougher, a lot tougher.
The Golden Gophers couldn't get over a second-half hump against No. 5 Duke and lost 89-71 on Thursday in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Minnesota had held its first four opponents to 28.6 shooting from the field and 19.1 percent on 3s while...
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Seth Curry scored 25 points and Mason Plumlee added 20 points and a career-high-matching 17 rebounds as No. 5 Duke's starters scored all but two of the Blue Devils' points in an 89-71 victory over Minnesota on Thursday in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Louisville didn't have its man in the middle to face Duke.
Gorgui Dieng, one of the best shot blockers in the country, missed Saturday night's championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis with a left wrist injury.
After No. 5 Duke's 76-71 victory over the second-ranked Cardinals, coach Rick Pitino didn't know how long Dieng would be out or how serious the injury is...
Two of the marquee point guards in the country are set to square off and Louisville coach Rick Pitino is counting on his to bounce back from a rough effort.
Peyton Siva and the No. 2 Cardinals meet Phil Pressey and No. 13 Missouri on Friday night in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas.
These 4-0 teams are led by guards known for their playmaking ability....
Few negative ramifications for the University of Louisville basketball team from a 76-71 loss to Duke in the fifth game of the season. A learning experience that could reap multiple dividends as the season progresses.
No reason to hate Duke, that’s silly. Duke, as usual, has a team of exceptional players that will rarely beat themselves.
U of L, on the other hand, was making so...
Louisville had this one wrapped up. The second-ranked Cardinals, despite playing a terrible first half, were leading Northern Iowa by 18 points with just under 12 minutes to play.
Nobody told the Panthers about how it was supposed to end.
They managed to get within a point with 2:06 left, but Louisville found a way to hang on for a 51-46 victory on Thursday night in the opening...