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  1. #1

    Would Duke have really been a final 4 team had Kyrie not been hurt?

    I'm looking at the Butler-VCU game right now and I can't help but wonder what if Kyrie had not been hurt. Butler looks good right now and I think about how Duke played them earlier in the season and won the game by double digits. And considering how good Duke looked in the early part of the season with Kyrie, it would not be hard to think that Duke would have continued to grow and become a very dominant team. Yet, I'm not so sure that this year's team had the mental toughness of last year's team; and I think it was that toughness and will to win/refusal of last year's team that was every bit as important in their success as their ability to defend, rebound and make timely shots when needed. And when I consider the second half meltdowns and losses to VT, UNC, Fla. ST and Arizona, I can't help but think that even with Kyrie for a full season, Duke could've still lost in the sweet 16 by a hot team like Arizona and might not have made it to the final 4. Saying that, I'm still very proud of what this team has accomplished this year and thankful for what Nolan and Kyle brought to this team. I just wanted to get thoughts from other posters about this.

  2. #2
    I do not know about the final four but I think we would not have lost in the regular season. Actually I think we would be in the final four.

  3. #3
    Both VCU and Butler doesn't have any McDonald's All-Americans on the team. How many does Duke have? With or without Kyrie, Duke had enough players and talent to make the Final Four...but didn't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Hard to believe that if Duke would have made it to the championship game they would be playing Butler again

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wtm001 View Post
    Hard to believe that if Duke would have made it to the championship game they would be playing Butler again
    If the Duke team pre-Kyrie's injury played the current Butler team in the final game, who wins? I know we beat them in December, but this Butler teams seems to have improved from then.

  6. #6
    I also think back to the 2002 team, which had Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Duhon, and Dahntay Jones. 5 NBA players. They also lost in the Sweet 16. However, Jason has later said that that team's focus was not there that season. Players had a lot of outside influences in their ears, especially regarding draft status and the NBA. Maybe this example of distractions is something that's common for higher profile teams to encounter, while others, such as Butler, don't have to experience...

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillcrazie View Post
    If the Duke team pre-Kyrie's injury played the current Butler team in the final game, who wins? I know we beat them in December, but this Butler teams seems to have improved from then.
    Considering I thought Duke was gonna blow them out last year (and in December), I think Duke would won a close one

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Class of '94 View Post
    I'm looking at the Butler-VCU game right now and I can't help but wonder what if Kyrie had not been hurt. Butler looks good right now and I think about how Duke played them earlier in the season and won the game by double digits. And considering how good Duke looked in the early part of the season with Kyrie, it would not be hard to think that Duke would have continued to grow and become a very dominant team. Yet, I'm not so sure that this year's team had the mental toughness of last year's team; and I think it was that toughness and will to win/refusal of last year's team that was every bit as important in their success as their ability to defend, rebound and make timely shots when needed. And when I consider the second half meltdowns and losses to VT, UNC, Fla. ST and Arizona, I can't help but think that even with Kyrie for a full season, Duke could've still lost in the sweet 16 by a hot team like Arizona and might not have made it to the final 4. Saying that, I'm still very proud of what this team has accomplished this year and thankful for what Nolan and Kyle brought to this team. I just wanted to get thoughts from other posters about this.
    They probably would have been the overall #1 seed and been in the East Regional, at which point maybe Kentucky would have beat Duke rather than Ohio State - stuff happens in the tournament - IMO the greatest Duke team of them all needed the Laettner shot to even get to the Final Four in 1992 so I agree having Kyrie Irving all season would have guaranteed nothing in the tournament

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeBlueNikeShox View Post
    Both VCU and Butler doesn't have any McDonald's All-Americans on the team. How many does Duke have? With or without Kyrie, Duke had enough players and talent to make the Final Four...but didn't.
    How many do they have? Less than UNC.
    dukelifer

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by stillcrazie View Post
    If the Duke team pre-Kyrie's injury played the current Butler team in the final game, who wins? I know we beat them in December, but this Butler teams seems to have improved from then.
    Butler has a knack of counter punching and keeping games close. I still think Duke wins.
    dukelifer

  11. #11
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    Fayetteville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Class of '94 View Post
    I'm looking at the Butler-VCU game right now and I can't help but wonder what if Kyrie had not been hurt. Butler looks good right now and I think about how Duke played them earlier in the season and won the game by double digits. And considering how good Duke looked in the early part of the season with Kyrie, it would not be hard to think that Duke would have continued to grow and become a very dominant team. Yet, I'm not so sure that this year's team had the mental toughness of last year's team; and I think it was that toughness and will to win/refusal of last year's team that was every bit as important in their success as their ability to defend, rebound and make timely shots when needed. And when I consider the second half meltdowns and losses to VT, UNC, Fla. ST and Arizona, I can't help but think that even with Kyrie for a full season, Duke could've still lost in the sweet 16 by a hot team like Arizona and might not have made it to the final 4. Saying that, I'm still very proud of what this team has accomplished this year and thankful for what Nolan and Kyle brought to this team. I just wanted to get thoughts from other posters about this.
    It's only been a short time since we last played Butler, but it seems to have clouded your memory of that game. That game was a back and forth battle and Butler fans beleive they were victimized by a couple of iffy calls, throw in the fact that Mack went out with cramps and I can't honestly say we were that much better than them back then.
    Butler struggled early in the season but came on strong at the end. Let's not sell them short. They're a very good team and their fan base is getting very cocky as witnessed by the, "Where's Duke" sign that was sported at today's game.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Based on how well Duke looked early in the year and that they would have only gotten better as the year went on, sure you'd say they'd be in the Final Four. But then again the most talented teams in the country (not just Duke) didn't make it. Crazy crazy tourney. Takes one bad half and one great half by one player to knock you out

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ncexnyc View Post
    It's only been a short time since we last played Butler, but it seems to have clouded your memory of that game. That game was a back and forth battle and Butler fans beleive they were victimized by a couple of iffy calls, throw in the fact that Mack went out with cramps and I can't honestly say we were that much better than them back then.
    Butler struggled early in the season but came on strong at the end.
    That game was one of Butler's *better* efforts of the regular season. They struggled even worse for much of their conference slate.

    They aren't a very good team. They're an okay team that has had a good tournament.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    That game was one of Butler's *better* efforts of the regular season. They struggled even worse for much of their conference slate.

    They aren't a very good team. They're an okay team that has had a good tournament.
    I have no problem with this. People said the same thing about us last year (although we had a better regular season). I have a lot of respect for this team and the way they play (Howard's screen on Singler last year notwithstanding).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillcrazie View Post
    I have no problem with this. People said the same thing about us last year (although we had a better regular season). I have a lot of respect for this team and the way they play (Howard's screen on Singler last year notwithstanding).
    Duke was #2 in Kenpom at the end of the regular season last year and barely behind Kansas.

    This year, Butler was like #46 or something like that. VCU was even worse at #85. The best teams are not in the final four. IMO Kentucky is the only one that can even be close to be claiming to be the best overall team this year. UCONN was barely in the top half of their conference.

    I think that Duke would have been there had Irving not been injured. Irving and Mason were both starting to break out when the injury happened. We become a very good team in spite of that with Curry and Miles, but that team never got to play in the tournament.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    That game was one of Butler's *better* efforts of the regular season. They struggled even worse for much of their conference slate.

    They aren't a very good team. They're an okay team that has had a good tournament.
    Let's see Butler is not a very good team, just an okay team, and having a good tournament. Did Brad Stevens run over your dog or sleep with your boy/girlfriend?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JG Nothing View Post
    Let's see Butler is not a very good team, just an okay team, and having a good tournament. Did Brad Stevens run over your dog or sleep with your boy/girlfriend?
    I have nothing against Brad Stevens or Butler. I just don't see why we should pretend that the four months of the regular season didn't happen.

  18. #18
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    Columbus, OH
    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    I have nothing against Brad Stevens or Butler. I just don't see why we should pretend that the four months of the regular season didn't happen.
    Along those lines, do these Final Four teams have the most combined losses ever for a Final Four? I guess it makes sense since there are no #1 & #2 seeds left. They all have at least 8 losses.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    I have nothing against Brad Stevens or Butler. I just don't see why we should pretend that the four months of the regular season didn't happen.
    You seem to pretend that the last two months of basketball did not happen. I don't see any reason to define the current Butler team in terms of the entire season. Teams can develop and improve. Butler was mediocre the first half of the season. The last two months speak for themselves. As Brad Steven's said, they finally "got it."

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by JG Nothing View Post
    You seem to pretend that the last two months of basketball did not happen. I don't see any reason to define the current Butler team in terms of the entire season. Teams can develop and improve. Butler was mediocre the first half of the season. The last two months speak for themselves. As Brad Steven's said, they finally "got it."
    Sure, if "getting it" means beating terrible teams in-conference and escaping good teams out of conference.

    I didn't say Butler was a bad team. But if you look at their body of work, including the narrow escapes in the NCAAs, but also including their diffident play in December and January, it's hard to conclude that they are much more than an okay team on a nice run.

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