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The other Duke Invitational(Maui and the ACC tournament) has a nice final 4 this year...Duke vs Mich and UCLA vs Kansas.

Michigan gave Duke a good game in the NCAAT last year and their athletes will give Duke a lot of trouble. Michigan will be able to get in the lane and they will look to kick it out to the 3pt shooters. If they shoot well, they have a good chance to beat Duke tonight. Its going to be an interesting game for sure.

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Hard fought win for Duke, as they advance to the finals of the Duke Invitational.

Their weakness was shown in the second half though. They are going to have a lot of trouble with dribble penetration...quicker, athletic teams will give them fits.

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Hard fought win for Duke, as they advance to the finals of the Duke Invitational.

Their weakness was shown in the second half though. They are going to have a lot of trouble with dribble penetration...quicker, athletic teams will give them fits.

Agreed. They're very unathletic this year, though Rivers is a gem.

As for my team, no complaints yet, but we haven't had a tough game either. Kentucky/Carolina should be a treat.

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Agreed. They're very unathletic this year, though Rivers is a gem.

As for my team, no complaints yet, but we haven't had a tough game either. Kentucky/Carolina should be a treat.

Duke is going to have to rely on good team defense and the fact that they have a lot of size down low. In their games thus far this year, they have blocked or altered a lot of shots...That is going to have to continue.

Bilas was right yesterday when he said that Curry is an underrated defender but he is going to have to defend like Redick did...he is going to have to move his feet well and be smart...athletically, he just isn't there.

What Duke can do is run and shoot well. They should be able to score and because of their size, they should be a good rebounding team.

That is what they are going to have to be to win...good rebounding team, play team defense well and shoot well. They can't just rely on pure talent and physical gifts to win games. Luckily for them, they have a coach that knows and understands that, so he will have them ready.

But when they play a team like UNC, the athleticism of those types of teams will hurt them in a big way.

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Nobody can accuse Duke of playing a soft early schedule -- Michigan State, Tennessee, Michigan, Kansas, Ohio State, and Temple all before the ACC season begins. Even some of the softer teams aren't really a joke.

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Wow...what a game between Duke and KU.

Great game, really impressed with #5 Plumlee (Mason?) Like Coach K said, when he plays hard, they're really good.

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Great game, really impressed with #5 Plumlee (Mason?) Like Coach K said, when he plays hard, they're really good.

He is the key to their whole team.

If he can be what scouts think he can be, Duke is a much better team.

If he ends up being Josh McRoberts(lots of talent, mediocre results..what he has been thus far), then they aren't any better than a sweet 16 team.

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What do you guys think is the best conference in the country? Big East?

At first glance I thought, of course, you have to go with them.

But the Big 12 got better this year just by shedding its two weakest links (Nebraska and Colorado). So top to bottom, it's pretty

darn strong. Big East bottom feeders (DePaul. USF? Rutgers) are probably worse than the Big 12 bottom feeders (Texas Tech?

Iowa State?).

Actually, the more I think about it, pound for pound, the Big 12 might be the best. You have to be very careful when comparing an

10 team conference with a 16 team conference.

The Big 12 has one "premiere" team in Kansas. It then has 6 other programs that have been very strong the past few years (Texas, Okla,

OSU, Kansas St, Baylor and Texas A&M). However, some of those 6 might not be as strong this year as they have been of late. Then you

are left with Missouri, Texas Tech, and Iowa State as "bottom feeders" -- and those ain't bad for being the worst teams in their conference!

So to be as good as the 10-team Big 12, the 16 team BE would have to have two premiere programs, or at least one comparable to Kansas

and one that is darn close. I think that UConn and Syracuse fit that bill.

But the B12 has 6 very strong next-tier programs. To match that ratio, the BE would have to have at least 9 in that category: Pitt, Villanova, Louisville, Georgetown, Notre Dame, and WVU leap immediately to mind. That's 6. (And some of those 6 are definitely stronger than most of the next-tier B12 programs. But can we come up with 3 more? Cincinnati is borderline. St John's hasn't done anything for years but Lavin has brought in an incredible recruitnig class. Marquette has to be added to get 9 and they are a real stretch.

So:

Top tier, premiere national programs: 1 of 10 in B12 (Kansas) compares with 2 of 16 in BE (UConn, Syracuse). Call it a tie, when adjusting for conference size, or perhaps a tiny edge to the BE.

Next-tier, very strong programs: 6 in B12 (Tex/Bay/OSU/Okla/KSU/A&M). Compared with 9 in BE (Villa/Pitt/Louis/WVU/Gtown/ND/Cinc/SJ/Marq).

I think the BE group is a bit stronger at the top but significantly weaker at the bottom of their group. Call it even overall, when adjusting for conference size.

Other teams: 3 in B12 (Missouri/Texas Tech/Iowa State) vs 5 in BE (Prov/Seton/Rutg/DeP/USF). Here I give the Big 12 a significant edge. Their sucky teams are not as sucky as the BE's sucky teams.

So I would say top to bottom, the Big 12 is the best conference, when you adjust for conference size so you aren't comparing team for team.

Edited by SteveA

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WOW UCF beats number 4 UConn.

St. Louis beats Villanova.

Can't say I saw that coming but I had noticed that UConn was winning games this year by 10-15 poitns against

bottom feeders, games that in past years they would have won by 20-30:

UConn 70, Columbia 57

UConn 70, Wagner 68

UConn 73, NC-Asheville 63

Something is off there. The number 4 team in the country beats Columbia & Wagner and UNC-A by more than that.

If they didn't step up their play soon, it was just going to be a matter of time before someone beat them.

As for St Louis -- Rick Majerus has built a tough team there. When he took over 3 years ago he pretty

much completely cleaned house and played with a nearly all freshman team. He's reaping the benefits

now as he has an experienced, senior laden team that plays tough defense. They knocked off the Washington

Huskies last week. So today wasn't a total surprise (in fact, the bookmakers weren't surprsed at all, as St Louis

was favored to win the game).

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Xavier beat Georgia tonight 70-56. X's defense was just too much for the Bulldogs, as they went up by 36 at one point in the second half. It was disappointing to not see them finish properly and Chris Mack was certainly not pleased after the game.

4 Musketeers scored in double figures (Lyons, Holloway, Frease, and Taylor), along with Taylor having a double-double. There is just so much depth on this team. 24 points off the bench.

With UConn losing to UCF today, and Georgetown beating Memphis, I'd expect to see the Musketeers in the Top Ten when the polls are released on Monday. Xavier will take on Vanderbilt in Nashville on Monday night on ESPN2 at 8.

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As for St Louis -- Rick Majerus has built a tough team there. When he took over 3 years ago he pretty

much completely cleaned house and played with a nearly all freshman team. He's reaping the benefits

now as he has an experienced, senior laden team that plays tough defense. They knocked off the Washington

Huskies last week. So today wasn't a total surprise (in fact, the bookmakers weren't surprsed at all, as St Louis

was favored to win the game).

With Kwamaim Mitchell, that SLU team will be good. It wouldn't surprise me if they are ranked soon. They will definitely contend with Xavier and Temple for the A10 title.

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