First, thank you! I pride myself on a healthy blend of cynicism and sarcasm!
Originally Posted by NYC Duke Fan
I try to limit my prognostications on the NCAA tournament. I've followed the event far too long and far too closely to look at a team at the end of the regular season, before conference tournaments are done, and long before pairings are announced, and pretend to have any idea what a group of 18-21 year olds is going to do in an emotionally charged one-and-done event, particularly when they are competing against other groups of 18-21 year olds who are similarly emotionally charged. I also try to steer clear of fortune telling, ouija boards, and astrology.
Answering your fair question without all the humor, I really do think it's pretty pointless to say, "This is an elite eight team." I have no idea who might be our 2nd or 3rd round matchup or, assuming, say, we're a 2 seed, what's going to happen to the hypothetical 1, 4, and 5 seeds in the same bracket in which we haven't yet been placed. In 1983, as of the last game of the regular season, NC State was a "hope you enjoy watching from your dorm room" team. Weeks later, Cozell McQueen was standing on the rim celebrating being the starting center of the national champions.
A better question is probabl˙: is Duke, in my opinion (of questionable worth, I will be the first to admit) a national champion contender, or a team that has too many flaws to seriously make a run? I'd say we're a lot closer to a national champion contender than a team too fatally flawed to realistically make a run. I base that opinion, for what it's worth, on our record to date, particularly our record against NCAA tournament team caliber competition, as well an assessment of the other high level teams out there.
I have no idea, however, how that will translate into whether or not we win the thing, or at what round we might be eliminated. Tell you what, when the brackets are announced, I can tell you if I think we're likely to survive the first weekend. If we survive the first weekend and have an idea who we will face in the regional semis and regional finals, I'll tell you what I think about our chances to survive the 2nd weekend. Etc...
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."