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Duke-Maryland preview

Posted By Chris Girandola On Mar 11 2011 @ 11:23 am In Duke | No Comments

As Duke attempts to win its 10th ACC championship in the past 13 tournaments, Kyle Singler needs to use the game against Maryland as a refresher course to finding himself.

No one on Maryland can guard Singler.  He is too quick for Jordan Williams and he is too crafty for Dino Gregary or Cliff Tucker to manage.

While Maryland was the last team to beat Duke in 2010 before the Blue Devils went on to win the NCAA title, the Blue Devils have owned the Terps this season, due in large part to Singler.  The Blue Devils swept the Terrapins this season, winning 71-64 in Durham on Jan. 9 behind 25 points from Kyle Singler [1] and 80-62 in College Park on Feb. 2 thanks to 22 from the senior.

Singler needs to use this game to find himself and get back to being the All-American type player he is.  If Duke is to win back-to-back championships, Singler has to be himself.

He can also use a little inspiration from his little brother, E.J., who scored a career-high 24 points to lead Oregon in a 76-59 upset of UCLA in the Pac-10 tournament on Thursday.  Singler had set his career high on Wednesday with 22 points in the win against Arizona State so hopefully the family good vibe rubs off on Kyle.

Other notes:  Each of Duke’s last four trips to the Final Four over the past 13 years have come via the No. 1 seed, so an ACC title seems crucial to Duke making it to Houston this year.  But an interesting side note is that Joe Lunardi has his updated Bracketology (will that word become an addition to Webster’s soon?) with Duke as the No. 2 seed in the East despite Pitt losing in their first game of the Big East tournament to UConn.  My prediction is that either Duke or UNC will garner a No. 1 seed if Notre Dame goes on to win the Big East tournament.  But if Duke does get the 2 seed as Lunardi predicts, it will actually work out better for the Blue Devils because the East region is held in Newark, where Duke has fared well in its tournament history.

Tommy Amaker, the former Duke point guard in the 1980s, is on the verge to leading Harvard to its first NCAA tournament since 1946.  In fact, it would be just the second time in school history the Crimson would make it to the NCAA field.  Harvard will play Princeton in a one-game playoff to decided the Ivy League representative after Princeton forced the game with a win over Penn on Tuesday.  Amaker says the Crimson should garner consideration even if it loses because of a 23-5 overall record that includes wins over possible NCAA teams Colorado at home and Boston College on the road.  In addition, four of Harvard’s losses have come on the road to other NCAA probables — UConn, George Mason, Michigan and Princeton.

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[1] Kyle Singler: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/player/profile?playerId=36156

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