Duke by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin. Maryland not so much.
#2 Duke 71 #15 Belmont 70
I had mixed emotions watching this. On one hand my Duke disdain coupled with having a heart for the plucky underdog put me squarely in the Belmont camp. When it was over I agreed with william that the loss would have been devastating for the ACC as a whole. In the end it basically came down to Belmont being unable to score when leading by one and the inability to stop someone with the athleticism of Gerald Henderson. And I will be fair in pointing out that Henderson played a incredible game considering his wrist needs surgery. Demarcus Nelson on the other hand played perhaps his worst game of the season and only had the steal on the Belmont inbounds as his only positive of the night. The huge issue I see is the fact Duke looks like they have tired legs and this has become a regular occurrence for the Devils in March. The blame in past years was on the lack of a bench but Duke has used 8-9 players in the regular rotation this season. Are the practices too intense? Too few off days? Playing intramurals in the evening? Who knows, but the legs of the Duke players appear to be gone which is a horrid sign for a three point shooting team.
National Invitation Tournament
Syracuse 88 Maryland 72
The battle of the bubble whining coaches goes to Jim Boheim. Maryland hung tough for awhile but the turnover bug eventually did them in with 18 on the night and six by James Gist alone who led all Terps with 23. Maryland finishes at 19-15 and Gary Williams is off to contemplate how they went for winning the title in 2002 to where they are today.