No. 1 seed Duke did exactly what they were supposed to do against sixteenth seeded Hampton. They gut up big early and refused to let the Pirates back into the game, and earned an 87-45 win in their second round matchup of the NCAA Tournament.
Duke used a balanced attack to outpace the Pirates, but they were led by the Plumlee brothers. The elder brother Miles had 13 rebounds, while Mason chipped in 12 points. None of the Blue Devil starters scored more than 12, but none scored fewer than eight either.
Because the outcome of the game wasn't really in question, the biggest storyline in this game was the return of Duke freshman Kyrie Irving. He looked just as rusty as you would expect from a freshman in his first game since December early, but came on late to finish with a team high 14 points. If he can get back to anything resembling his prior form before the end of the tournament, it could be a huge boost for their Tournaments chances.
The Blue Devils advance to face Michigan, who destroyed Tennessee in their game today. Despite the one sidedness of Michigan's win, Duke should still be a pretty heavy favorite in that one.
Duke earned a No.1 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and they did it without one of their best players in Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving is just a freshman, but Duke was a different team when he was healthy and playing his best. Irving hasn't played since early December after suffering a severe toe injury.
But he has been working hard to come back, and now he will reportedly return for the Blue Devils as they take on Hampton on Friday in their first game of the Tournament.
Goodman also tweeted that he has been told Irving will play somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes tomorrow, and that his timing was off a little bit in practice. If he is able to add anything to this Duke team that was already one of the Tournament favorites, then they will have a much better chance of winning their second straight National Championship. Too bad this news couldn't come out when we all had a chance to change our brackets.
The No. 16 seed Hampton Pirates will face defending champion and No. 1 seed Duke in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and now, we know when. The NCAA Tournament schedule is out, and the Pirates and Blue Devils will play in Charlotte on Friday at 3:10 p.m. on TruTV. Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg will be the announcers.
The Pirates probably have no shot to actually beat Duke, but we can dream, right? For what it's worth, the Pirates are probably the strongest No. 16 seed in the field, having won the MEAC Tournament title on Saturday over Morgan State. That said, there's simply no way they will beat mighty Duke, who polished off another ACC Tournament title by routing North Carolina on Sunday.
The winner will play the winner of the game between No. 8 seed Michigan and No. 9 Tennessee. That game will take place at 12:40 p.m. on TruTV.
As if you don't need any more reason to root for the upstart Hampton Pirates, they will be playing defending NCAA Tournament champion Duke in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Pirates are probably not going to beat the mighty Blue Devils, but it certainly makes it easy for people in this region to root for them.
The Blue Devils are known to everyone. ACC Player of the Year Nolan Smith shrugged off a toe injury to lead the Blue Devils to the ACC Tournament title, including a 75-58 rout of North Carolina in the championship game. Small forward Kyle Singler is the other headliner, and he, along with the Plumlee twins inside, are hated by many in this region.
The X-factor for Duke remains point guard Kyrie Irving. The freshman phenom suffered what many felt was a season-ending toe injury in December, but was practicing during the ACC Tournament and has not been ruled out yet. Irving would obviously turn the Blue Devils into the favorites if he makes it back.
It'll be a victory if Hampton can keep it close, but you never know.
The Hampton Pirates have received a No. 16 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA bracket was just revealed on the Selection Sunday show on CBS, and the Pirates will be in the West region. They will play Duke in the first round in Charlotte.
The Hampton basketball team won the 2011 MEAC Tournament, topping two-time defending champion Morgan State in the championship game on Saturday. The Pirates are returning to the Big Dance for the first time since 2006. Led by coach Edward Joyner, in his second year at the helm, and high-scoring guards Darrion Pellum and Kwame Morgan, the Pirates are stronger than your typical MEAC team.
That's not to say Hampton will pull off an upset, like it did in 2001 when it shocked Iowa State as a No. 15 seed. The Pirates are still very small on the inside. But this is still a relatively strong MEAC team, which should count for something.