Ask yourself: How many people had Duke as a preseason national title favorite last year? Outside of Durham, N.C., close to zero. The Blue Devils were ranked 9th and 8th, respectively, in the preseason AP and ESPN/coaches polls. They were considered a dangerous team, but not on the level of Kansas and Kentucky.
Over the course of the schedule, however, the realization hit that Duke possessed most of the pieces you’d want for a national title run: Experienced guards, quality shooters, versatile forwards, solid defense, good coaching and NBA-caliber talent in the right spots. Throw in a healthy “Us against the world” mentality (because they’re Duke) and a favorable NCAA Tournament bracket, and the Evil Empire was back on top of the game. Read More »