NCAA Tournement Preview Duke Virginia Tech

#1 R.P.I. Duke vs. #26 R.P.I. Virginia Tech: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball (rematches) with a likely to be pretty revancheful and therefore pretty upset looking Duke basketball team in the Sweet-16 over in the District in what could very well forecast as being a pseudo-home-game for the Hurrying Hokies.

The Hokies did clip Duke inside our very own Cassell 31 days ago. Never balled pundits will have me say that was sans Zion. As this Zionite is the alpha Testament baller in all the land right now. No if’s, and’s or butt’s about it. Although V.Tech was minus “5” last time out vs. the gets Buzz and Co. sky high like the International Space Station Dukies as well. So each team is much closer to their ceiling -and/or possible roof- for this one than either team was a month ago. Nonetheless, you wanna know who is more parts elite and less parts, sweet. Read on, to find… out!

Duke Head CoachMichael William Krzyzewski: Age=72, 1,131–343 (.767) overall, and 1,058–284 (.788) at Duke. 

Coach K is pretty good, and this just in, rain is rumored to be, wet. As this is about as well preserved of a seven-decades-old gentlemen as you will ever-ever see. And his resumè is about as well heeled as any you will ever sporting read.

Would that we all could age this, well!

Among them {sic: accolades}: Baller K Played at West Point under Bob Knight as a 5′10″ combo Pt.G/Shooting-G. He was captain of the Army basketball team in his senior season, 1968–69, leading his team to the N.I.T. as Vietnam era West Point finished fourth in the tournament. From 1969 to 1974, Krzyzewski served in the United States Army and directed service teams for three years. In 2005 he was presented West Point’s Distinguished Graduate Award. And thank you for serving –after that Mike has not really done much of anything as a coach…

…he has only won nine, that’s (9) Gold Medals for the USofA! He has only won five, that’s (5) National Championships in men’s hoops (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)! He has only won thirteen that’s (14) Atlantic Coast Tourneys. Among men’s college basketball coaches, only U.C.L.A.’s John Wooden, with 10, has won more NCAA Championships than Coach-K.

Coach Krzyzewski has the most wins of any coach in college basketball history. Coach-K became the first Division I men’s basketball coach to reach 1,000 wins. And is only a six-time national coach of the year and a five-time A.c.c. coach of the year; that’s all. He is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2001 for his individual coaching career and in 2010 as part of the collective induction of the “Dream Team.

Additionally… Coach-K has only won 24 (varying) Coaching Awards, he is National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame inductee (class of 1991), he was the 2011: Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year”, the United States Military Academy named the “Coach Krzyzewski Teaching Character Through Sports Award for him, and he was merely inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2014 in the area of sports. That’s, it!

And God Bless the Emily Krzyzewski Center (charity) that he and his wife (Carol “Mickie” Marsh) founded to honor his reposed mum. Daddy K and Carol have
three daughters and nine grandchildren.

Duke at a glance:

  • 1st in swats (6.7 bpg)!  tho’ still #1.
  • 4th in swipes (9.3 spg)!   1 spot and 1 full steal
  • 12th in 3-point defense (29.8% allowed)! just a little or worse
  • 9th in scoring O (83.4 ppg)! (just added this…)
  • 16th in defensive FG percentage (39.6% allowed).  1/10th difference.
  • 23rd in rebounding margin (+6 rpg).  about half a board.
  • 29th in shooting overall (49.7% made).  or better here.
  • 40th most personal-fouls (15.9 pf/g) (i.e. far more physical this campaign).  same here.
  • 331th in 3-point shooting (30.7% makes).  1/10th difference.
  • Everything else is 245th (FT-shooting=69%), or better.
  •  2 injuries listed (Godspeed).

Dukie Returning Starters=o. None. Nadda. Nil. Nope.

Duke Strengths:

  • Cam Reddish is a 6′8″, 218 lb. Norristown, Pa. (i.e. Philly) native who is prolly a team-leading scorer (13.6 ppg @Duke) for at least 300 other D-1 men’s hoops teams if he was getting first-look opp’s. Reddish, however, does need a scope as his marksmanship marks are a bit too low from a raw talent of this caliber (36% from the floor and 33% from range). Still, yet, being the team alpha in swipes (1.6 spg) and being the leading FT-shooter (77%) from the starters out on the floor does do some little things, right as rain. Reddish is said to be a versatile Wing who can: handle, distribute and shoot. So two outta a still-developing three (3.7 rpg with 2 apg) ain’t ½-bad work if you can get it. As Cam can play all three backcourt spots, although the vibes say he slots best as a Three or S/F, eventually. Cam does have a history of groin injuries (St.Margret bless) and that may be holding him back a bit here. He was only the no.2 or no.3 recruit no matter where you looked last year and this kid is a Pro’ of some measure. Only needs a bit more range/touch to his game. Such is the life of a pretty fair to middling third-option to have, isn’t it? (UPDATE: scoring, defending and in particular assisting are all , ergo he has the look and feel of a short-timer to me)
  • 6′7″, 202 lb. RJ Barrett is rookie or nugget year baller who -believe it or not- nearly all recruiting services had listed as the signature Dukie get (ahead of Zion down below)! That’s pretty legit in my book… and so is leading Duke in scoring at a sizzling 22.8 ppg on 46% from the floor after playing precisely 36 more college basketball games than you and I have played, combined. Not to mention leading the A.c.c. in point-production to boot. Did I mention that, yet? As not many can say that, that early at Duke, or that early in the A.c.c. for that matter; although that does make you wanna ask just how long he Durham, stays? As this north of the border, N.A.F.T.A. imported S/F from Mississauga, Ontario, was only the consensus #1 recruit in all the land(s) last year! ESPN, Scout, Rivals, and 247Sports all quad-crown agreed. And they cannot agree what time it is looking at the same stopped-watch; twice. R.J. was selected as the 2017-18 National Gatorade Player of the Year; once. And he’s (actually) a year ahead of schedule after reclassifying downward in class rank. props at Barrett. His pops (Rowan) only balled at St.John’s back in the sweater-day, and then; overseas. Daddy Barrett is the Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Canada Basketball; now. The whispers say that young Barrett has excellent “offensive instincts”, he’s best in the open court and that he added a 3-point shot (31%, now) late in his scholastic game. Another source says he’s: “an offensive weapon” and even went so far as to wonder out loud if R.J. is the #1 N.b.a. Draft pick come June? A second best 7.7 caroms, with a likewise second best 4.1 dimes from a kid who is not a point-F is no small get. Now mix in a steal and a swat and you suddenly have a more complete or a more professionally ready kid than (some) had forecast. Five seasons of Canadian National teams global hoops ain’t hurting his development either; “eh“, as you do have to wonder just how many games this (jersey) #5, pretty cut-up looking former unanimous no.1 recruit; has? (UPDATE: or down across the board, although it is a lowercase or 10th’s per given category type of down, nothing major to report here)
  • A Rick James or a: “Super Freak” baller 1o1!

    Zion Williamson— everything Anthony Mason+++, ever, wanted, to; be. That’s what this total diesel Three is. Well, was. As St.Nikhon bless, this overloaded 220v Four had a Grade I right-knee ding (sprain) and is officially listed as: “IN” for Tuesday night. Also questionable to play would be Zion’s -great name- Zion’s: 6′7″ and entirely whopping 285 lb. S/F industrial sized frame. With the emphasis not, on the word: “small”. As this guy loads about as much as anyone can in terms of dense, denser, densest and thickly packed muscle mass can go. Seriously, this kid is a Foxtrot You up mans-game son Ot on the gridiron in another life. In this life, Zion was just the no.1 P/F wherever you looked, unanimously from all four major recruiting services. And merely the no.2 baller in the land per ESPN overall. Zion only threepeated in state hoops championships where he averaged 38 ppg and just under 15 boards. Momma bear (Sharonda) ran track at Livingstone College and she and whoever need to report to the Hoops Genome Dance floor (raised by his stepfather: (Lee Anderson); God Bless) merit mad mating props here. See pic: on sinew and leaps! As there is no doubt, this is the closest thing to ‘bron’bron James of Laker fame going today. The book here says that Zion’s a power-dunker with epic throwdowns. LOL. Highlight reel posterization apply (____) here, now! There are whispers that the Duke backboards had to be reinforced due to such absurd kinetic-linking dunking metrics to boot! No joke, only knock at 18 years young, 22 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.1 apg and 1.7 bpg on 68% shooting is… range. Tho’ 33% long with 65% FTA’s is not the worst look from a compression or vice-like Shaq’-Fu type exploder. Or in other words, there are precisely and entirely 350 other D-1 men’s teams that wish they had Zion’s problems or limitations. And the whispers now say that he says, he’s… staying. Geez; 2020 in the A.c.c…. look the “bleep” out! (UPDATE: only Free-throwing is down, or his overall game is way , as he’s averaging 27 & change since he got back as Zion has fresh legs this time of year when most, don’t. Hence the just south of 30 ppg NC2A average this far)

Duke Weaknesses:

  • If Duke only had a couple more 3-point makers? It would be downright, criminal. As is Duke’s overall shooting is only a tricentennial (301) spots ahead of their 3-point shooting in national ranking terms!
  • Talent-rich? Dah. Experienced? Nyet. As lu¢rative as this Duke roster may be, it just departed: a phenomenal five, that’s (5) different guys averaging between 11 and 21 ppg, right at 30 rpg and just south of 16 apg! As Allen, Trent, Bag’s, Carter and Doval all left and just over 20 years worth of work left with them as well.
  • 6′12″, 259 lb. final year Antonio Vrankovic has been dinged-up (leg) for weeks. He did ball a few minutes in the NC2A’s with 2 points scored and is: PROBABLE now. As I for one thought/expected a bit more here from Larry Bird’s 3rd-string Center’s, son. (Stojko Vrankovic, with the latent early 1990’s C’s, remember him?) Still yet, this is a big-big ole boy and a true-C in a G.State backcourt frenetic era of hoops who you just gotta hope has a back-up career ahead of him overseas— if/when he wants the work. A fun and easy to pull for guy. As legacy Vrankovic put up very handsome looking: 27.5 points, 16.1 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game in high school. Who never quite collegiately (2.5 ppg with 2.6 rpg on 45%) big time power-conference panned out. (UPDATE: seems healthy and his numbers have not moved much at all… tho’ hard to tell with a shorter post-season bench and limited P.T., so a ⇔ or Swiss or neutral grade fits best here).
  • Jack White, a 6′7″, 222 lb., imported Traralgon, Australia native, has a bad hammie (may St.Nikhon bless) and is listed as: “QUESTIONABLE” for Friday night having missed all of the round-of-64 and of 32 last weekend. So are his 4.4 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.1 bpg and 85% FT-shooting in relief. Jack is said to be a hard-nosed Wing with the ability to knock down perimeter shots (28% from 3-point land). Jack has participated in two FIBA world basketball championships for the Aussie’s so international experience he gots. Jack was named the: Basketball Victoria Male Junior Player of the Year in 2016 in doing so— so there were some pretty above (average) expectations from “the land down under” here. (UPDATE: a couple of things went up and a couple of things went down, that’s an even or  grade for Jack)

Duke Bench: (depth=was 4’ish deep, now 2 deep with White’s hurt)

Javin DeLaurier is yet another Commonwealth (Shipman, Va) backyard escapee, and this 6′10″, 234 lb. third-year baller has the physical build of a mini-me Dwight Howard. As this Javin is a strapping strong kid upstairs across the shoulders when he posts-up down low. Javin only comes with the tags of being the “most athletic” and “most electric” finisher on the entire Duke roster. As he runs the court thoroughbred well and is a strong internal baller on both ends; all that on 3.7 ppg, with 4.3 boards, a swipe and a block on an absurd 72% in relief, if you need him. (UPDATE: pretty close to where he was or a  or flat grade for this kid)

6′6″ and string-bean 184 lb. Alex O’Connell kinda looks like he walked off The Outsiders set as an underfed “greaser” who put on some kayoed “soc’s” Jordache threads and effortlessly acted the part. Seriously, Alex looks the L.L. Bean boy-model part and he’s basically the lowest ranked (no.80) national recruit in the Duke rotation— poor Duke! Alex and his 4.6 pine-squad ppg are said to be dynamite in the open-court and he can dial a floor-spreading long-distance at a mere A.c.c. leading 54% on his 3’s last year (39.5% this season from deep)! (This kid may be a Pro’ just on his depth alone). Plus he Alex courts one of the rare stop-on-a-dime pull-up games this side of the Virginia Squires and a certain Dr. who made a lotta “J”‘s the very same way. With 1.8 rpg and .6 spg just ’cause. (UPDATE: defense and rebounding are both just a little off, ⇓, tho’ not by a lot)

The best pure coach on the floor is who, here?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Dukies who could start @Tech=8.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… it is gonna take a lot to upset 7.5 point betting favorite Duke in this one. And “aye”, Eye already know… this just in b.street, rain is rumored to still be… wet.

Zion is the biggest NCAA overload Eye’ve seen on breaking tape since Mr. P.A.T.T.+++ Coach Dale Brown had Shaq (and Stanley Roberts with Jackson) down @L.s.u. way-way back when. Zion is everything -less a measure of on the ball skillz- that Mister Ohio (‘bron’bron James) ever could have collegiately ever wanted to be. As this guy is just a handful, noticeable foot-limp or not. A damn dawgg of an NCAA power-forward. A 220v heavy-duty industrial P/F or Four who surge suppresses you with his shot-making ability and Tacko gulping late when he needs too. And oh yes, Zion is so great he’s single handily overshadowing the greatness of A.J.B. in his own right. Think about that… and think on a Kerry Blackshear Jr. personal foul’s prop line while you are at it to boot.


Duke is .9oo as a neutral whereas Virginia Tech is .875 when neither home or away.

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is now calling for a 8.6 point Hokie VomiT this time out. As Duke looked better in round-robin terms vs. F.s.u. then we did— despite our having upset Duke head-to-head.

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… this one is actually a rarefied “even” in shooting percentage margin, tho’ V.Tech is up +6% in 3-point percentage margin (with Duke better on D and VT even better than that on O), with Duke up +5 in rebounding margin for the duration.

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… Duke is now up +2% in shooting percentage margin (a total reversal, per VT now being better on D and Duke being even sharper than that on O), with V.Tech now up a whopping +14% in 3-point percentage margin (VT with both O & D improvements alike), and yet Duke is now up +6 in rebounding margin in the last fortnight of play (as has been Duke slightly Windex better and VT slightly fiberglass worse).

V.Tech is up a shiny +8% at the charity stripe for the year.

  • Virginia Tech -of all the vertically challenged people- is #1, that’s’ numeral uno sports-fans, in the Nation in fewest opposing offensive touches in the paint; allowed!!!
  • Would have bet his life against ^that^ in September and be March Madness dead for it now——->me!
  • Virginia Tech was sluggish at the outset against Liberty; however, VeeTee locked it down on defense and allowed only six field goals in the second half. Impressive!
  • Virginia Tech has allowed 19 then 18 opposing shots overall or a total of (∑=37 opposing makes) to tickle the twine during the NC2A’s thus far. 2018 Bud Lϒte… take, notes!
  • Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams’ two, that’s (2) NCAA Tournament wins are tied for the most in men’s hoops program history with Howie Shannon and Charles Moir. Think about that…
  • The Virginia Tech-Duke game marks the ninth time that two Atlantic Coast Conference teams will meet in an NCAA Tournament game.
  • Coach Krzyzewski is 96-29 in the NCAA Tournament and has now led Duke to the Sweet-16 25 freakin’ times. w0w!

the call

9:39 pm kickoff!

It would be just downright dishonest to come in here and say that Eye expects that Virginia Tech could upset Duke in a more authoritarian best of seven series. Or in a first to four wins or Associative format. That kinda basketball typically renders who really is best, better.

However, this is a 40-minute one-n-done format. Single elimination ride or die and yes NC.State and Phi Slamma Jamma and 1983 all just called.

As Stranger Things have happened indeed… just ask the de facto Expos hat wearing -although very likable- kid on Netflix.

That and shooters shoot. And as said before… if our shooters suddenly catch fire 267 miles nor-nor-east over in the District? Look the “bleep” out. As we have the FT-check-mark to nic’ this one late in a 15′ set-shot dead-ball contest.

Because ain’t nobody gonna want a lotta O&M work if we suddenly spark-up and get hot like the Sun from distance. All the more so with most everything I track just a little bit down and/or off for Duke. As this hardwood team may have statistically/technically peaked earlier this year.

Is the Zionite the son of: “Wedge” from Class Act?!?

Now, all that being rightfully said… with Buzz’s departure whispered to be imminent; (sadly) with yet another Cheech & Chong Outlaw “good clean dope” baller, and with all of that conspiring to make this the last shot coach-K (pardon the hoops pun) has @Buzz?

Methinks all that gamesmanship of introducing himself anew to coach-K each and every time pre-game is gonna come back on Buzz here.

As this is coach-K’s last shot to rub his upstart Atlantic Coast Coaching rival’s nose in it beyond some unseen A.c.c. vs. S.e.c. out-of-conference hook-up or Tournament draw. As coaching the verb and holding court on this level of elitism is indeed the realm of real live white-board 1 through 5 diagraming stars war(s). And although Eye is one of the extreme few who rates Buzz as just north of K in pure in-game coaching mechanics…

To put it another way…

Obi-wan is about to master “Luke“,

…while Obi-won still, can.

(as similar to getting done by some dork named L.Bird in 1979, we are getting done by the odds on favorite to win the MNC, here)

(74% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=63, Duke=76




4 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. Well, Eye would not die of shock if the last few minutes bloats this score a bit.
      Duke hits some FTA’s or a 3 and VT misses 2-4 shots to close an
      otherwise at least semi-combative game.

      Duke extends/elastics this one; late.


  1. Come on Bourbon….sometimes you just gotta BELIEVE and have FAITH the round ball gods will make our rim bigger and wider… and bounce all the loose balls towards us. Thats my story and I am sticking with it

    1. LOL!

      I believe in Zion.
      As in I believe we are gonna ping-pong ball right off of him.
      He’s a terror. Amity Island NY dorsal-fin sharky terror. “gonna need a bigger, boat“.


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