It is no doubt that it was a somber note (for most) to hear that this was Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last dance as head coach of the Duke men’s basketball team. Over his illustrious career, he has led the Blue Devils to five NCAA Division I titles, 12 Final Fours, 15 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament championships and 12 ACC regular season titles thus easily cementing him as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time.
In his last go-around with the team, it is evident that he wanted to strive to bring home the hardware one last time with this Duke club. So far, they have shown to capable to do just that. They currently sit at the top of the ACC conference and 7th in the country overall. According to ESPN’s Bracketology, they are predicted to also be the 2 seed in this year’s March Madness with quite a bit of fan favorite to win it all this year.
Of course, they still need to go through Conte and secure a win to make this seeding all the more likely. In his final walkthrough of Conte Forum, Coach K is bringing some his brightest stars Saturday evening in what is presumed to be a rather lopsided victory.
Seemingly everyone on the floor for Duke is a perceived threat and is going to give the Eagles trouble. Paolo Banchero is their versatile forward and also their leading scorer averaging 17.1 PPG going along with an insane 8.5 RPG. Wendell Moore is also quite the facilitator and floor general for the team producing 4.5 APG (3rd in the conference) going alongside 5.6 boards on average and 13.7 PPG.
Lastly, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention Mark Williams. Williams is an absolute defensive unit. He leads the conference in blocks per game with 3.1 along with being the most accurate second chance artist in the ACC. He presently leads the conference in field goal percentage shooting 71%.
As a whole, it is no doubt that this combination of Duke athletes should be considered a March Madness finalist. Their team chemistry is off the charts and they can hit you in the mouth on both sides of the floor. They average 80 PPG as a team whilst also ranking 38th in the country at Field Goal Percentage Defense (40.2% OPP FG). In other words, they will drop buckets on you and stuff any attempt you make to the cup.
This is easily going to be the Eagles’ toughest match of the season. It is one that they have circled in sharpie since day one and a match that they will put it all out on the floor. Conte should certainly be rocking with the student body in full attendance for what might end up being the only time this season. The atmosphere for this game sound be amazing at tip-off as it is every year a Top 25 opponent comes to town.
However, when all is said and done and the dust settles, Duke should walk away from Conte the proclaimed victor. Just as we have seen in years past, the Blue Devils simply always win on sheer talent and skill that is unmatched from the Maroon and Gold. Not to say it is impossible as the Eagles did accomplish this feat in 2017 behind Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman. This is college basketball after all and the penny drops in random ways sometimes. Unfortunately, after watching this season of BC basketball, it is evident that this team has a lot of heart but just not enough talent, yet, to take down the Goliaths.
Prediction: Boston College 66 vs. Duke 84
Tip-off is set for Saturday at 5 EST at Conte Forum.