Duke beat Wisconsin in a back and forth game last night to claim another national title, though it was anything but a thing of beauty. Still, they were able to make the plays they needed to down the stretch as they dominated the final five minutes of the game to come away with a 68-63 win.
None of the likely top draft picks were particularly great, as Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow were both in foul trouble throughout, Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky was strangely passive at times, and Sam Dekker's outside shot abandoned him. Okafor, the most likely Wolf of this group, had a particularly poor outing until a couple of big plays late that showed his talent. Still, he finished the game with 10 points but zero defensive rebounds, blocks, steals, or assists in his 22 minutes, and Duke's best stretch of the game, their comeback from a nine point deficit in the 2nd half, was accomplished without him on the floor.
Instead, Duke's big stars last night were freshman guards Tyus Jones (Apple Valley!) and Grayson Allen, who combined for 39 points and made almost all of the key shots for Duke in the 2nd half.
So now we are done seeing the college prospects in game action, and from now until the draft, information will be gleaned via the dubious combine and individual workout circuit. If you asked me today, and I don't know why you would, my top five is:
I think. That order may shuffle tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Wolves are in Sacramento tonight against the Kings. Here's a question: is this the most unappealing game of the season? Late start, two teams going nowhere, the Wolves without half their roster? Ugh. I think I'm supposed to recap this one, but frankly, don't count on it. I'll try, but my effort might resemble the Wolves effort to win.
Have fun YoLeo!
What else is going on? At this point, I'm just hanging on for the playoffs.
Today in history
30: Estimate of the day Jesus was crucified by Roman troops
529: Justinian issues first draft of Corpus Juris Civilis
1348: Prague University formed by Charles IV
1795: France adopts the metre as the standard measure of length
1805: Beethoven's "Eroica" premieres
1862: Union under Grant defeat Confederates at Battle of Shiloh
1906: Mount Vesuvius erupts, devastating Naples
1922: Harding administration leases Teapot Dome reserves to Harry SInclair
1933: First anti-Jewish laws enacted by Nazi government: No Jews in legal or public service
1948: World Health Organization founded by UN
2003: U.S. troops capture Baghdad
Today's musical birthday is Billie Holiday, born in 1915 (d. 1959).
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Tuesday. Buckle up.