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View Full Version : Why Duke needs to win the ACC tourney



houstondukie
03-14-2008, 06:46 PM
It has nothing to do with seeding, but rather with knowing what it takes to be a champion.

Other than Paulus, Nelson, and McClure, no one else on this team has experienced an ACC regular season or tourney championship. And if you think about the first round losses in the ACC and NCAA tourneys last yr, none of them have yet to even win a postseason game.

Winning the ACC tourney would do great things for this team's confidence. I believe the talent is there to make a run at a national championship, but it may be asking a lot out of a young team with little postseason winning experience.

Chitowndevil
03-14-2008, 08:39 PM
I saw tonight's game as a must win, if only to avoid the spectre of last season. I actually don't think the ACC Tournament is a must win. It's not like any of BC, Clemson, or UNC is going to give anyone any kind of revelations on "how to beat Duke". I don't even know that a win or loss affects our likely tourney draw that much--I guess it gives us a slightly better chance of dodging UCLA, Kansas, and Memphis, but the former two could just as easily be #2s. Yes, I think this team deserves to be ACC Champions and would love to see it happen, but I don't at all think it makes or breaks Duke's final four hopes.

captmojo
03-14-2008, 08:45 PM
Maui was big. It tournament tested this bunch.

Any similarities of this group with the one in '01 is acceptable, in my opinion.

OldPhiKap
03-14-2008, 08:53 PM
This is not must-win. It would be nice, but i trust in K to have the right game plan and Nelson and crew to execute.

Either way, enjoy the ride. This is one of the more fun Duke teams we've had in K's career. 1986. 1990-1994. 2001. 2008.

Rip em up, tear em up, give em hell DUKE!!!!!

houstondukie
03-14-2008, 09:39 PM
I saw tonight's game as a must win, if only to avoid the spectre of last season. I actually don't think the ACC Tournament is a must win. It's not like any of BC, Clemson, or UNC is going to give anyone any kind of revelations on "how to beat Duke". I don't even know that a win or loss affects our likely tourney draw that much--I guess it gives us a slightly better chance of dodging UCLA, Kansas, and Memphis, but the former two could just as easily be #2s. Yes, I think this team deserves to be ACC Champions and would love to see it happen, but I don't at all think it makes or breaks Duke's final four hopes.

The point I was making is that Duke needs to win the ACC tourney for its own confidence - to prove to themselves that they are a capable of winning a championship. It has nothing to do with getting a better seed, since I think we have a 2 seed pretty much locked up.

wisteria
03-14-2008, 09:43 PM
The point I was making is that Duke needs to win the ACC tourney for its own confidence - to prove to themselves that they are a capable of winning a championship. It has nothing to do with getting a better seed, since I think we have a 2 seed pretty much locked up.

I agree 100%. Yes we are Duke, but this particular team needs to achieve something more than a Maui title to have the confidence of a champion. We need to build up such confidence by winning games in this tourney.

yancem
03-15-2008, 09:57 AM
The point I was making is that Duke needs to win the ACC tourney for its own confidence - to prove to themselves that they are a capable of winning a championship. It has nothing to do with getting a better seed, since I think we have a 2 seed pretty much locked up.

I think that you have a reasonable point. While the team did win in Maui, that was the beginning of the year and before our late season hicups. Also, beating UNC in Chapel Hill was great but Lawson didn't play and in the rematch we lost with him playing. I'm not trying to detract from Duke's achievements this year but going into the ncaa's there could be a little nagging doubt. I'm not sure that winning the acc is a must, but I do think that it could have a tremendous positive impact on confidence and swagger, especially, if we beat UNC.

imagepro
03-15-2008, 10:53 AM
Houston, I agree on the confidence factor. I said in another thread yesterday that "winning breeds confidence, and confidence breeds winning". Champions do not question their own ability. Never. Confidence is an absolute must in the tournament.

About 2 weeks ago I told TrinityDevil I thought Clemson would win the ACC Tournament. Lets hope I'm wrong, but I said it so I'll stick with it.

houstondukie
03-15-2008, 12:43 PM
Can anyone think of a past Duke team with such little postseason winning experience (or lack of postseason experience in general)? Probably not since most Duke teams in the past were not hit by early losses to the NBA. But I think with this yrs team, we just take it for granted and assume that wearing a Duke uniform means you have championship game experience.

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 12:43 PM
Duke has been to Final Fours and won a national championship without winning the ACC tournament, so while I agree that the team would be more confident heading into the NCAAs following a victory, I'm unsure that its impact would be all that great. That is, an ACC championship (which is nice to have just on its own merit, of course) doesn't mean that Duke would all of a sudden be on par with UNC, Kansas, or a healthy UCLA. The nature of our team wouldn't change.

And our nature right now is that we're a team with a bunch of good players and no great player. Can a team like that make the Final Four? Yes, but it'll take some luck and some good matchups along the way. Remember, every single one of Duke's Final Four teams in the Krzyzewski era has had a retired-jersey player starting for it. You need great players to do great things and while I'm enjoying watching the development of Scheyer, Henderson, and Singler into great players, they probably won't reach that status until after another offseason of work. And I don't think winning the ACC tournament will change that timeframe.

houstondukie
03-15-2008, 01:00 PM
Duke has been to Final Fours and won a national championship without winning the ACC tournament, so while I agree that the team would be more confident heading into the NCAAs following a victory, I'm unsure that its impact would be all that great.

True, but those teams that you mention had players who, in previous seasons, had won ACC regular season champsionships, ACC tourney championships, and made deep runs in the NCAA tourney. This team doesn't have a single player who has post-sweet 16 experience. And only Paulus, Nelson, and McClure know what it's like to win an NCAA tourney game (and before last night's win, they were the only ones to experience an ACC tourney win). Could you say the same for those past Duke teams who made runs to the FF and National Championship?

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 01:26 PM
True, but those teams that you mention had players who, in previous seasons, had won ACC regular season champsionships, ACC tourney championships, and made deep runs in the NCAA tourney. This team doesn't have a single player who has post-sweet 16 experience. And only Paulus, Nelson, and McClure know what it's like to win an NCAA tourney game (and before last night's win, they were the only ones to experience an ACC tourney win). Could you say the same for those past Duke teams who made runs to the FF and National Championship?

I think the '86 team qualifies under these strict rules, but basically, while I agree that having championship experience is important, I also think that it kind of takes care of itself if you have a good enough team. In a way, we're arguing cause and effect. Championship experience can certainly be helpful towards becoming a great team, but I think the mechanism is mostly driven the other way around, i.e. a team becomes great and then it wins championships (and then it therefore has championship experience under its belt [because it is great]). But I would agree that it can work in both directions.

jjasper0729
03-15-2008, 01:31 PM
You could probably also count the 1998 team. They didn't have a lot of post season success and/or experience.

CrazyCat
03-15-2008, 01:42 PM
I don't think winning the ACC is a must win, but it sure would be nice. We are the worst hated team in the country I think. Why, because we win. Players choose to come to Duke, because of the coaches and the ability to play for a winning team. I think the guys who have worked so hard over the past few years deserve to have a little taste of what our previous teams have had the chance too. I really think these guys have worked hard at their game and deserve to have atleast one title under their belts.

houstondukie
03-15-2008, 02:14 PM
I think the '86 team qualifies under these strict rules, but basically, while I agree that having championship experience is important, I also think that it kind of takes care of itself if you have a good enough team. In a way, we're arguing cause and effect. Championship experience can certainly be helpful towards becoming a great team, but I think the mechanism is mostly driven the other way around, i.e. a team becomes great and then it wins championships (and then it therefore has championship experience under its belt [because it is great]). But I would agree that it can work in both directions.

Good point Trouble. But it's also nice to have upperclassmen who have "been there before" to show the way.

yancem
03-15-2008, 02:55 PM
Duke has been to Final Fours and won a national championship without winning the ACC tournament, so while I agree that the team would be more confident heading into the NCAAs following a victory, I'm unsure that its impact would be all that great. That is, an ACC championship (which is nice to have just on its own merit, of course) doesn't mean that Duke would all of a sudden be on par with UNC, Kansas, or a healthy UCLA. The nature of our team wouldn't change.

I think if Duke beats UNC for the acc tourney title it probably does put them on the level of UNC, Kansas, and UCLA. Why wouldn't it? We would have beaten UNC 2 out of 3 and while I personally think that Kansas is the best team in college ball they and UCLA have both shown some weaknesses over the last few weeks. UCLA has looked fairly beatable each of their last 4-5 games.

That being said, my argument doesn't really matter to me because the importance of the acc title is more about getting back to the team that was wearing Duke jerseys a month+ ago. I want to get back to "that" nature of our team. Since we lost to Wake and Miami we have been good but not great. Earlier in the season we had more of a swagger, made better decisions, had more of a killer instinct. I think we will need those qualities to make a deep run in the ncaa's and the easiest way to get back to that level of play is to win the acc tourney.

houstondukie
03-15-2008, 03:17 PM
Since we lost to Wake and Miami we have been good but not great. Earlier in the season we had more of a swagger, made better decisions, had more of a killer instinct. .

I agree completely...what has happened to our bench (other than Scheyer)? Nolan and Taylor have dissapeared since then.

Troublemaker
03-15-2008, 05:30 PM
I think if Duke beats UNC for the acc tourney title it probably does put them on the level of UNC, Kansas, and UCLA. Why wouldn't it?

Because the fundamental nature of the team -- how good Duke actually is -- wouldn't have changed. Let's say Duke had beaten Clemson today and gone on to play UNC. (Obviously it's moot at this point). UNC would've been a pretty nice favorite to win; I'd say something like an 80-85% favorite to win. But if the 10-15% chance of Duke winning had actually occurred (we luck out somehow, perhaps shoot the lights out from 3, whatever), that doesn't mean that all of a sudden Duke would be as good a team as UNC. The next time we played them, UNC would still have been an 80-85% favorite, maybe 70-75% if you adjust for confidence. The 3 best teams in the country are UNC, Kansas, and UCLA (if they get healthy), imo. And we can't elevate our level of play into that elite group until after another offseason of work.

superdave
03-15-2008, 05:32 PM
Duke typically leaves it all on the floor, which is good because it takes that for them to win consistently.

But it will be nice to have an extra day of rest and one less game to have poured out the energy and emotion for.

mapei
03-15-2008, 05:43 PM
The 3 best teams in the country are UNC, Kansas, and UCLA (if they get healthy), imo.

Who's in the next two or three, Trouble? Memphis? TN?