When I say that Arizona beat up Duke I’m doing them an injustice.
Arizona outclassed, outplayed, out-everythinged Duke to the point that every person in the bar I watched the game at ooooh’d and aaaah’d for an 8 minute run.
Actually for Duke the 28-10 run that lasted for 8 minutes seemed like an eternity.
Arizona came out of halftime down by 6 points after an up and down first half. Derrick Williams, who lit up Duke for 25 points in the first half, kept them in the game by showing off his ridiculous game dominating Duke both inside and out. Once they came out they took it to Duke in a barrage of highlight reel plays, fantastic defense and posterizations that had me hoping the Singler family had their TiVo recorders turned off.
Momo Jones knifed through 3 defenders for a spectacular layup. Williams threw down a monster jam that would’ve made Blake Griffin blush. Jamelle Horne banged on Singler to the point where I couldn’t drink my beer.
It was a slaughter. Arizona couldn’t miss, they shut down Duke in every single way, they outrebounded Duke 25-9 in the second half… Keep in mind duke has 3 players at 6-10 while Zona has none.
In short Coach K should’ve texted Shane Battier to help him because Duke couldn’t get it done offensively or defensively.
I knew Sean Miller was a good coach, but damn. His adjustment at halftime was to run Duke ragged and they did. Even with Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith running the show Duke couldn’t keep up with Momo and D-Will. Zona’s above the rim game donated the Dukies to the point that you felt bad for them. Arizona’s athleticism destroyed Duke. They had no answer for their drives, drive an kicks, or inside bludgeoning that took place at Honda Arena in Anaheim.
Lute Olsen should’ve and probably did crack a smile at an Arizona team that resembled one of his many squads that dominated the PAC-10 during his tenure.
This win spoke volumes about the talent that Miller has continued to amass at Arizona like he did at Xavier, and the athletic weakness of the ACC.
For all of the critics that touted ACC as basketballs best conference after the Big East’s lackluster week last week, this game showed why only 4 ACC teams were worthy of the field. They lack the necessary athleticism to keep up with the field and don’t have the same punch as a Big East team or Kansas or even Butler. Duke was done in by it’s lack of aggression around the rim and by the fact that it couldn’t keep up with Arizona’s faster more athletic guards. Even though Duke had been number one for most of the year, games against St. Johns and UNC exposed them as an unworthy squad for winning a national title.
For Arizona it puts then right back in a position that they were used to under Olsen. They are close to a final 4, a serious national title contender an one of the top 4 teams left in the field. If Arizona plays like it did in the second half tonight against Duke then no one could possibly stop them.
So while one of the favorites goes home, Arizona moves on. UCONN beware, Arizona has all of the tools it needs to go for the national title. Don’t believe me? Replay the last 20 minutes of this game and ask Coach K how good this team is.