Merry Christmas: Duke Takes Back #1 Spot in AP Poll

Duke reclaimed its spot on top of the AP poll this week after Kansas’ loss to Arizona State opened it up. After losing to Gonzaga, whose loss to UNC led to their fall from #1 and Kansas’ immediate assumption, Duke fell in the rankings but will now become the latest best in he NCAA. Merry Christmas to us!

The Coaches’ Poll puts Virginia at #1, but if I’m being honest that’s pretty bogus. The Hoos’ best win comes against Wisconsin, which was then ranked 24th and only scored 53 points. Of course, they’re 15th now, but Duke beat Kentucky, who was then #2 (Duke then at #4) BY 41, and Kentucky has rejoined the top 20 just behind the Badgers. Also, that Auburn win is pretty sweet and Texas Tech is really, really good and we beat them on an adverse night. Just sayin’.

Happy Holidays, Krazies! Wishing you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year from the authors of Krazies’ Korner (okay, there’s only one of me but this sounds more impressive).

Bleed blue. Duke won’t play this week, but look for my preview as they’ll return from a two-week, well-deserved holiday respite next Saturday to take on Clemson in the first ACC challenge of the year.

Virginia Will Relive a Nightmare at Duke

Well, this will be fun. Duke’s Cameron Crazies sure can be creative- and also, a nightmare for the Wahoo’s. Everybody remembers last year when #16 seed UMBC upset #1 (overall!) seed Virginia; it will be remembered as one of the most shocking upsets in college basketball history. The Cavaliers will get to relive that nightmare. The Cameron Crazies set up a GoFundMe page to bring KJ Maura, a former UMBC guard playing overseas in Puerto Rico, to Durham for Duke vs. UVA. And get this: It’s no stunt. He’s coming. 

It appears UVA is taking it alright, as Tony Bennett even donated $20 and Kyle Guy advertised the cause on his Twitter page (even though it was specifically aimed to make Guy miserable!).  Duke-UVA sure will be an epic game. Thanks, KJ, for agreeing to come!

Bleed blue.

Tre Jones Earns ACC Freshman of the Week

RJ Barrett has earned multiple Freshman of the Week awards, but today, he’ll have to step aside for a teammate to shine. After a magnificent performance against a gritty Texas Tech team on Thursday, Tre Jones was awarded Freshman of the Week by the ACC. He racked up 6 steals and helped to lead a run that would hold the Red Raiders field goal-less in the last six minutes.

Bleed blue. Merry Christmas Eve, Krazies! (Or any other holiday that is special to you and your family and happy belated Hanukkah, as it was earlier this month.)

A Hamilton Fan Rejoices

I don’t know if you know this, but I am a girl of many fandoms. Duke, obviously. Basketball in general. Then you go into my more pop culture-related areas: Harry Potter is one of those. Finally…

Hamilton!

I love a lot of musicals, but none more than the story of the nation’s first treasury secretary (I tell you, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius). 

Bull City residents probably know that Hamilton recently came to the Durham Performing Arts Center or DPAC. I didn’t get to see it at DPAC but did see it last year in Chicago after over a year of singing loudly to its soundtrack. I love Hamilton.

I freaked when I saw this:

It’s the BLUE DEVIL. ON A HAMILTON STAR.

THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THING.

Bleed blue. Fangirl moment over, I promise 😉

“What a Game”: Duke Defeats Texas Tech 69-58

Now that was a game. A game like this where both teams fight like heck is always a great one and this was one of them, and Duke pulled out the win 69-58. The score is absolutely no testament to the game as Duke was behind 8 in the second half and didn’t get a lead until 10:36 and it was still very close. The game was the definition of adversity basketball speaking: we were plagued by foul trouble, the rim had a lid on it for most of the first half (0-12 on 3s, I believe), and a sometimes hefty deficit made this a downright gritty win.

THAT’S OUR CAPTAIN.

Yeah, I may have yelled this a few times in this game. Jack White and Javin DeLaurier might just be one of the most important captains in the past 10 years, and Jack sure showed it today (Javin got injured, update on that on the way). Jack White hit our first two 3s of the game (the first not coming until 10:36 in the second!), but more importantly, helped lead a FIELD-GOAL LESS DEFENSIVE STINT IN THE LAST SIX MINUTES. He played lockdown defense and when Zion went out (more on that coming, relax, he’s not injured) and I couldn’t be more proud to say we officially have veteranship. Jack White is getting national attention for being a difference-maker on a national stage, and deservingly so.

Tre Jones Being AMAZING

TRE JONES IS THE GREATEST THING ON PLANET EARTH RIGHT NOW. Tre played lockdown defense with six steals, dove to the floor, and led this team 100%. He found his open teammates to make some offense on a night when the shots were colder than it was outside MSG last night. That six-minute field goal-less stretch I said? Jack White was great, but Tre had a huge part in that too. Tre was magnificent.

RJ Barrett on the Pass

I want to highlight the growth RJ Barrett showed in this game, especially after Gonzaga almost a month ago now. In that game, RJ was shamed for not passing the ball to open teammates on the final possessions. In this game? Look at the top play above. He drew in the defense on that one to guard him, made an excellent pass to his teammate to drain the shot and I couldn’t be happier.

Let Him Play!

Is it Zion’s fault that he’s a freight train (in the most wonderful of ways, of course)? Well, unless you’re counting working his butt off in the gym, thank goodness, no! With the last call, an easy blocking call on a great play by Zion, I was having flashbacks to Wendell Carter and KU (probably the most traumatic memory I have as a Duke fan, perhaps saving Mercer 2014). He got called for the charge, but these things are going to happen, as unjust as they are. Referees are gonna try to perform a musical around him with their whistles and sadly, Zion will have to learn to play with that without losing the essence of basketball entirely. 

Bleed blue. Duke will take a break for the holidays and wait until January 5 to play again, so in honor of this, happy holidays, Krazies!

A Few Good Duke Articles

Duke’s gotten a lot of attention this year and you have to sift through a lot of articles but I’ve found two that I like a lot; one focuses on Zion (because who can’t?) and then one focuses on an incredibly underappreciated piece of the puzzle for Duke in Tre Jones. Tre knows Duke through family, but as ESPN’s David Hale says, he seems to know Duke on a deeper level. He’s in on the secret- he doesn’t give a crap what his stat line is and focuses on the team’s achievement level. He’s the prime example of an unselfish PG and that’s what we need.

I like this New York Times article on Zion not for its heaping praise upon him (deserved, but pretty normal at this point) but highlighting both that and his love for the game. Also, it’s at least not apparently written by a Duke hater, as many Zion articles report on his magnificence pretty grudgingly. Zion is a prime example of the blueprint for basketball players today: he’s electrifying. He’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and he’s so thrilling to watch that he’s a social media superstar. I think people have forgotten that Drake wore his jersey. This will serve him well in the future: he’s a moneymaker.

Bleed blue. If you’re watching the TTU-Duke game, I swear to God there’s a lid on that rim.

Krazy Catchup: Princeton, Texas Tech

Hey, Krazies! I am so sorry that I missed Tuesday’s game against Princeton. Our team may be done with exams, but with two to go tomorrow I’ve been pretty overwhelmed in the past month. However, I’m still doing Krazies’ Korner and I hope to get a fresh start as the holidays roll around! Also, we have a game tonight as well, so here’s a quick week rundown:

Tuesday vs. Princeton

I was expecting this to be a game. It was- well, for a little bit. This game was competitive for a while, but as many games have gone this year, even just a slight change of momentum to Duke’s side was enough to end it. It’s amazing how fast a game can go from competitive enough to an absolute rout- whether you consider Kentucky, from almost the beginning, or Yale, where a spurt late in the first half opened the floodgates. Here are some highlights (just to summarize it, Zion 1, Backboard 0):

Next Up: Now vs. #12 Texas Tech

Yeah, that’s right about now on ESPN2. Texas Tech is known for its lockdown defense and Duke is known for its explosive offense. This’ll be a heck of a game. Bleed blue.