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Bevo's Daily Roundup- Duke Edition

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Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski had advice for President Obama: Keep your day job. Krzyzewski was annoyed that Obama picked North Carolina to win this year's NCAA championship.

But later Krzyzewski cleared the air:

"Really, it doesn’t matter at all what anyone predicts, it’s what you do,’’ Krzyzewski had said on Wednesday. "Somebody said we’re not in President Obama’s Final Four. As much as I respect what he’s done, really the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets. So why would I care about that?

"I love the guy and I think he’s going to be great. But I love the fact that so many people are filling them out, because the game is growing so much.’’

Like Texas in football, Duke is probably one of the most hated teams in college basketball. Translation: They win.

CBSSports' Gary Parrish has more on everyone's love of Duke.

Duke knows the way to beat Texas is to contain A.J. Abrams.

"I'm not sure we've had a guy that's been defended the way he has all year," Texas head coach Rick Barnes said. "When he starts getting separation and gets his feet set and gets his balance, he's one of those guys that you're really surprised when he misses to be honest."

Duke will utilize a multitude of defenders to contain Abrams, who has shot 38.9 percent from long range this year.

So, how have we done against Duke?

In 11 years at Texas, Barnes is 0-3 against Duke. The average margin of defeat has been 28.3 points.

Maybe you’ve heard the one about Duke basketball not being what it used to be. The Blue Devils haven’t been to the Final Four since 2004 or to the Sweet 16 since 2005. Mike Krzyzewski has set the bar so high that anything less than a Final Four is considered a poor season. He deals with this perception by not paying attention. He’s bothered only that Grant Hill’s success is somehow connected to Kyle Sengler’s.

A.J. Abrams and Dexter Pittman are tight. Real tight.

"We weren’t always best friends," Pittman said. "He didn’t speak to me for about the first two months. I went to coach Todd (Wright) and asked him to move me."

Once Abrams began speaking, he didn’t stop. When they’re together, Abrams is the one whispering insults, encouragement, telling him what to eat and what not to.

As if the nation has not heard enough about Dexter Pittman's weighty issues, SI's Joe Lemire decided to write about it again.

Before the Minnesota game, Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said some very nice things about the Horns.

According to Knight, Texas (22-11) is playing at its best now because the Longhorns are healthy and they have discovered one of the top point guards in the country.

"We couldn't beat Texas, they're a hard matchup," said Knight, whose Red Raiders lost at home to Texas 71-49 on Jan. 17 before giving the Longhorns a better game in Austin, losing there 87-81 on Feb. 25. "Their talent is lot better that what their record shows ... because they've had some injuries. The kid [Gary] Johnson got hurt for two, three games, and he and [Damion] James are two very good athletes that can shoot it and drive it, and they usually play those two together. If he wants to go big, he plays that kid [Dexter] Pittman, and that becomes a tough matchup. Or they take Pittman out and go really athletic and push the ball up on you and drive you."

Some postgame quotes from the Horns after the Minnesota game:

Rick Barnes: You know, I thought we started the game. I thought we were jumpy and probably a little anxious, maybe nervous is probably the real reason. But after that first four minutes, we settled down and did a pretty good job, obviously, throughout. A.J. got going for us. Dexter, again, did some things.

 But I thought the defense as a group, and certainly Justin Mason and Varez Ward did on Westbrook were really, really important. Especially in the second half. He had 15 in the first half, and at halftime we talked about we ended up with 19. We just said he's the guy that we've got to work to take out our offense.

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Greensboro feels like home to Rick Barnes... well, it is home.

According to Gary Parrish, neither Duke or Texas have what it takes to compete for this year's national championship.

At some point late Saturday before a partisan crowd here in ACC land, 10 basketball players will walk onto the court, shake hands and tip-off a game that will launch either Texas or Duke into the Sweet 16. Of those 10 players, exactly zero are what anybody would call a "very good" or "great" point guard, which begs the question: How did this happen?

Understand, neither Duke nor Texas have problems recruiting.

Barking Carnival is all over this Duke game: handicap, a shopping list, and a preview. (And they found another Texas football recruit for 2010. That class has to be full by now, right?)

 

And finally...

We are more than a football conference. The Big 12 is making us all proudMissouri beat Cornell, Oklahoma State beat the other UT, Oklahoma beat Morgan State and Griffin got roughed up (again), Kansas beat North Dakota State, and our favorite quasi-military institute beat BYU.

Our condolences to Kansas State. The Wildcats entered a city of violence and were beaten by a vicious San Diego State in the first round of the N.I.T. Tournament.

And now... A public service announcement from UCLA football coach Rick Neuheisel warning about the dangers of filling out those brackets. He should know.

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