Duke basketball made history again, but unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons. A number two seed losing its first game to a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament is rare. In fact, it only happened four times prior to March 16, 2012.
Duke is supposed to be David. Four national titles in a 20 year span. No college has built a stronger reputation on the court, off it, and in the classroom.
That’s why the world cheered for Duke’s loss to Lehigh on Friday. Lehigh, which has never won an NCAA Tournament game, pulled off one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history.
This is my first year in North Carolina, and despite the disappointing ending, the team exceeded my expectations. I didn’t come in a Blue Devil fan by any means. I watched Duke games growing up, but I never really grew to like them.
Attending the MMS program changed that. Not only do we have several athletes in our program, but we also have connections to the Duke basketball team. Some students are great friends with current and former players, and they have been kind enough to introduce me to them.
Duke lost the three best players in the ACC last year: Kyrie Irving (first overall draft pick in the 2011 NBA Draft), Nolan Smith (first round pick) and Kyle Singler (high second round pick). Singler and Smith were integral pieces to the 2010 National Championship team, and Kyrie is about to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award. Finding players to fill their shoes was going to be a tall order.
Finishing second in the ACC regular season and beating North Carolina on a memorable buzzer-beater is good enough for me, especially with Coach K’s inspiring leadership and cleanliness in running the most professional basketball program in the nation.
You don’t have to win a championship to be a champion. Duke is one of those rare programs that breeds champions, and that’s why the NBA loves Dukies (16 alumni currently play in the NBA).
Once a Dukie, always a Dukie. Go Blue Devils!