There are those out there that are likely to use Friday’s early season matchup between Duke and VCU to hearken back on a game that took place more than four years ago.
Every Duke fan that hasn’t blocked out the 2007 NCAA Tournament first round loss were an Eric Maynor-led Virginia Commonwealth
beat the Blue Devils, remembers that loss painfully well. Even CBS College Basketball Insider Gary Parrish recalls the Duke loss in his predictions for the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament’s upset game recalled that game.
Needless to say Parrish predicts a Duke loss to VCU, but I’m not very inclined to agree with him based on history.
You can’t really use that 2007 game or those two teams to base your prediction on what will happen when the 2012-2013 version of these teams square off Friday in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament Semifinals.
Sure is is the same teams but nothing else is similar. Is isn’t the same players or the same teams. Shaka Smart was not the VCU coach back then either, but he has had his fair share of Goliath-slaying wins and you figure that the Rams do have a shot at winning on Friday.
Still this years sees an arguably improved Blue Devil team. Duke has gotten solid play from its starting lineup especially Mason Plumlee who has started out the season averaging a double double. Seth Curry has also shown few signs of his lower leg injury that has limited him in practice, but thus far not in games. Curry is averaging almost 30 minutes and just over 18 points per game.
If VCU is going to win they are going to have to force Duke to make mistakes and hope that if Curry and Plumee continue at their pace that nobody else steps up and that their team shoots well.
It could happen, and so far it seems to be a trendy pick considering the very recent history, but my feeling is Duke should win this game and possibliy by double digits. I feel like the Blue Devils are still being judged by how their season ended last year. The pick by Parrish, and I’m sue other analysist, to me seems like trying to put too much importance on a game that is in the past and I’m not talking about Duke’s loss in 2007.
I feel like Mason Plumlee could potentially dominate again and I’m not sure the Rams have anybody that can match up with him.
In college basketball anything could happen but the Blue Devils are scary good in the month of November and in preseason tournaments especially. They have won 22 straight games played in such tournaments, so while many will be holding out for some of that extra VCU magic that has helped them become one of America’s favorite Cinderella teams, I’ll be watching how this Duke team continues to improve.
Duke has a good team that can get better. When Duke played VCU in 2007 it was a team that was maxed out, this team is just getting started. So before you jump on the Ram’s bandwagon because of history you might want to let this game play out before you rush to any judgements. Then again it is still early in the season so you can’t judge but so much.
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