The Duke men’s basketball program is the reigning national champion. The team, however, isn’t defending the title. Only one starter returns from last season. This is not a shock in the modern college basketball climate. Not since Florida successfully defended its 2006 title has a reigning champ returned all five of its starters. Since, it’s been just as common for a champion to lose all its starters than bring back more than one.
On the heels of Duke’s national championship, I spoke with Kevin Cullen, the program’s director of information technology. In his role, he’s responsible for opponent scouting, which includes analyzing data provided by SportVU cameras.
Duke freshmen accounted for 60 points last night, a record for a national championship game. Tyus Jones hit huge shots down the stretch and was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Jahlil Okafor was slowed by foul trouble but scored a couple of critical baskets late. And Grayson Allen came off the bench and provided a tremendous offensive boost. The result was a 68-63 win over Wisconsin. Read more about it in my recap for CBS Local.
He’s not even the third best freshman on Duke, but that doesn’t mean Grayson Allen isn’t a talented player with the chance to make an impact on tonight’s national championship game against Wisconsin. He’s my latest Rising Star for CBS Local.
As much as I was looking forward to a Kentucky-Duke final, Wisconsin absolutely deserves its spot in tonight’s national championship. The Badgers have one of the best offenses of all time and proved it against Kentucky’s historically dominant defense. In Saturday’s other game, Michigan State cooled down after a hot start and couldn’t stop Duke. I recapped the action in my Five Things column for CBS Local.
The Final Four is set: undefeated Kentucky takes on another No. 1 seed, Wisconsin, and Duke plays the surprise team in Indianapolis, Michigan State. To learn more about the keys to each team winning this past weekend, check out my latest for CBS Local.
The NCAA Tournament field is starting to take shape, as four schools have received their conference’s automatic bid. Three more will punch tickets tonight. Check out my recap of last weekend’s action for CBS Local.