Winn: Duke Won’t Make Final Four

In offering 25 fearless predictions for the upcoming (well, almost) college basketball season,’s Luke Winn makes a point that will undoubtedly delight Duke haters and incense Blue Devil loyalists:

21. Duke will look, statistically, like a national-title contender … and yet fall short of the Final Four once again.

The jab implicitly references Duke’s early-season success of 2007-2008, when the Blue Devils knocked off North Carolina in Chapel Hill in early February to prove their mettle, and also cites the struggles down the stretch, when Duke squandered a two-game lead in the ACC, lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament and failed to advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Stewart Mandel, Winn’s colleague, wrote a long piece about how Duke has recently dominated in December and January before slumping when it matters most–an analysis that proved prophetic.

So make your fearless prediction: Will the Blue Devils still be alive for college basketball’s final weekend next season? And don’t worry. You still have many months to make up your mind.

–by Ben Cohen


1 Comment

Filed under Blogdome, Men's Basketball

One response to “Winn: Duke Won’t Make Final Four

  1. alum

    I think Duke will be very good next season, better than this past season but I wouldn’t be willing to bet they’d make the Final Four, either. After the past two seasons, would you? With the way our recruiting for the 2009 and 2010 classes has picked up, I still think this is Duke’s last season of “rebuilding” and the 2009 will be the start of a special run, circa ’97-98.

    In ’95-96, we were knocked out in the 1st round; in ’96-97, the second round. In ’97-98, we made the Elite Eight, going to the NC Game the next season. When you look at that four-year period, I really think Duke is in the midst of a very similar evolution. The first two seasons match up perfectly and I think 2009, 2010 and beyond hold great things for the program.

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