Now that we have that little business out of the way, on to the main event.
Longtime Fusioneers know I bleed Blue Devil Blue. Those who have been around a shorter time might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, you can get up to speed here.
For me, there is something lower brain and purely primeval about Duke v. UNC. Since the early 1970s, I’ve only missed a few of those titan tussles. This year’s regular season finale Saturday night promises another instant classic: ACC regular season title on the line, Senior Night at Cameron with DeMarcus Nelson playing his last home game, UNC ranked #1, Henderson and Psycho T Hansbrough eyeing each other warily during warm ups, the Cameron Crazies in a deep blue frenzy, Roy Williams and Coach K commanding their troops.
Speaking of which, Coach K and staff just landed one of the nation’s top 2009 prospects in Mason Plumlee who plays his high school hoops in, fittingly, Roy William’s hometown of Arden, NC. With all the overwrought hoopla over “injury-gate” finally behind us, that little coup may serve as a fresh affront, pricking dapper Roy’s thin skin and causing it to bleed just a little more.
Duke’s chances are about 50-50 in this game. From top to bottom, the Heels are a stronger team when they are firing on all cylinders. Ty Lawson’s return to point guard will provide them an extra spark (although Quentin Thomas surprised all with his fine play during Lawson’s injury), and with clumsy, perpetual project player Brian Zoubek as Duke’s only prominent presence in the paint, the Devils simply have no answer for Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough. But with a wave of Cameron Crazies at their back and the most balanced attack they’ve had in years, Duke could certainly pull it out again, completing a regular season sweep.
All eyes will be on Durham come Saturday night, and I’ll be ready. Ready to coach, cajole, scream, moan, and, if necessary, play. Eyegal will be ready too. She’s already making plans to move the furniture and any valuables to a safer place.
It’s March–Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Devils of Duke!