Sunday, March 23, 2008


It appears that Duke head coach Mike Krzyghbpk3ski has stopped recruiting one-and-done NBA prospects. After the Blue Devils second early exit from the Big Dance in as many years, he might want to start rethinking that strategy.

West Virginia used Joe Alexander's 22 points and 11 rebounds and all sorts of contributions from unlikely sources for a 73-67 victory over Duke on Saturday, getting to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in Bob (They Aren’t Rules, They’re Morel Like Guidelines) Huggins' first season.
While the Mountaineers (26-10) will face No. 3-seed Xavier in Phoenix on Thursday, the Blue Devils (28-6) must deal with a second consecutive early exit.

Every year from 1997 through 2006, Duke was a participant in the round of 16. Every single year. It's a stretch that featured three trips to the Final Four and the 2001 national championship. But now Mike Krznhmv4ski's team is on a two-year drought, having bowed out in the first round in 2007 with an unlikely loss to VCU.

"No matter how well or how hard you're playing, you've got to put the ball in the basket," said Krzyghxz2ski, whose team was held to 38 percent shooting and missed 15 consecutive 3-pointers in one stretch. "We didn't do that today."

There was no clearer sign that the Devils were playing on borrowed time and tired legs than the fact that they shot 5-for-22 from 3-point range, and the misses often hit the front end of the rim.

Gerald Henderson scored 18 points for Duke. But DeMarcus Nelson had only six points on 2-for-11 shooting, a game after scoring two when the Blue Devils eked out a one-point victory over No. 15-seed Belmont in the first round.

This time, there was no amazing escape.

Joe Mazzulla #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers tries to gain control of the ball against DeMarcus Nelson #21 and Jon Scheyer #20 of the Duke Blue Devils during the second round of the West Regional as part of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Verizon Center on March 22, 2008 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

John Flowers #41, Jamie Smalligan #43, Wellington Smith #35 and Da'Sean Butler #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrate in the second half. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Duke guard Greg Paulus walks off the court as West Virginia's Joe Mazzulla (3) and Cam Thoroughman celebrate in the background in a second-round NCAA West Regional basketball game. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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