Last night’s action in the NCAA Tournament saw No. 1 Villanova fall to the NC State Wolfpack. Though I picked ‘Nova to win in my brackets, it was heart-warming to see the Pack win. It was reminiscent of 1983 when the team known as “Phi Slamma Jamma” led by Jimmy V took the national crown. (I miss Coach Valvano)
I must confess that I wasn’t as invested as a fan in that game as I was 32 years ago, but I kept my eye on it as the Tarheels methodically took apart the Arkansas Razorbacks’ full court pressure to convincingly defeat them 87-78. The Heels now advance to the Sweet 16.
Today my attention is turned to the game which pits my beloved Duke Blue Devils against the San Diego State Aztecs. The game will air at 2:40 PM ET on CBS.
These two teams have met only one other time: December 2001 at Cameron Indoor Stadium where the Atzecs lost 92-79. Today, playing in Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena, it will seem like home field advantage for Duke. The Aztecs have big guys in their line-up that should match up well against Okafor and Marshall.
If Duke can light it up like they did against RMU they should emerge the winner in today’s game, but that’s predicated on an up-tempo game and the Aztecs not being able to shut down Okafor. Duke definitely needs to speed up the game and get out in transition in order to beat the Aztecs. Oh, and foul trouble for SDSU’s forwards.