Clemson-Duke ending involves two controversial plays (Video)

Rodney Hood Duke ClemsonThe ACC tournament quarterfinal game between Clemson and Duke on Friday night ended in a controversy after two calls went Duke’s way.

The first play occurred with Clemson up 62-61 on Duke. Rodney Hood drove into traffic and was fouled by K.J. McDaniels with 3.8 seconds left, sending him to the free throw line where he gave the Blue Devils the lead. The question was whether he was fouled.

Officials obviously gave Duke the call on that play, though it was really close, and I don’t think the right call was made.

After Hood made the free throws, Clemson guard Rod Hall sped the length of the court and lost the ball as he went between two Duke defenders all out-of-control style. No call was the proper decision in my opinion, so Clemson fans really didn’t have much of an argument.

You can see the play below:

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Tom Izzo says his son picked Duke to beat Michigan State

Tom Izzo’s 13-year-old son Steven is not afraid to tell it like it is. Those of us who filled out an NCAA Tournament bracket know that part of the process requires making difficult decisions. Most of you would expect Steven Izzo to pick Michigan State to win the national championship this season, but his bracket says differently.

Earlier this week, Tom Izzo told ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning that his son picked Duke to prevail over the Spartans in their Sweet 16 match-up on Friday.

“My 13-year-old has all the bracket done and he’s got Michigan State and Duke,” Izzo explained. “He didn’t finish the rest of the bracket so I said, ‘Steven, what are you doing?’ He says, ‘Well Dad, I’m just not sure on this game.’ I said, ‘You know what, son? You’ve got to pick with your head, not your heart.’ The damn kid picked Duke!”

“My son’s problem is whether he ever eats at my house again. He’s a big fan of Coach K’s, so I’ve got real problems at my house.”

We all have our teams that we feel good about and not so good about. Apparently Michigan State falls under the latter category for Steven Izzo. On Tuesday, Izzo told CBS Sports Radio’s The Morning Show (via MLive.com) that his son picked Louisville — not Duke — to win the East Region. Steven himself also told CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman earlier this month that he picked Miami to win the whole thing.

Does this kid have Division-1 coach written all over him or what? Like his old man, who has made certain comments that show us he is not afraid to speak his mind, Steven is clearly not afraid of making the unpopular decision. The good news is if Michigan State loses on Friday, at least someone in the Izzo household will be winning.

H/T The Dagger

Coach K concerned over player safety after Virginia fans rush court

Virginia-fans-storm-courtDuke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is no stranger to fans storming the court. His No. 3 Blue Devils have lost four games this season. All have been on the road, and the opposing fans have rushed the court each time. Virginia fans did the same following their 73-68 upset over Duke on Thursday night, and Coach K expressed concern over it after the game.

“When we’ve lost in the last 20 years, everybody rushes the court,” Krzyzewski said, according to ESPN.com. “Whatever you’re doing, you need to get the team off first. Celebrate, have fun, obviously you won. That’s cool, but just get our team off the court and our coaching staff before students come on.”

Storming the court is a part of college basketball and adds to the drama, but you can understand why a coach would be concerned for the safety of his players. There’s always the potential that a player or coach can literally be trampled, not to mention the outside chance that a fan would intentionally go after someone.

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Duke players found Miami’s floor slap disrespectful

miami duke floor slap

Miami handed Duke one of its worst losses in the last 30 years, taunted them in the process, and now the Blue Devils say they feel disrespected.

While up 72-44 in the second half of last week’s 90-63 win over the No. 1-ranked Blue Devils, several Hurricanes players slapped the floor at the same time. The gesture was Miami’s way of mocking Duke, which has been doing the floor slap on defense for years.

You can see video of the floor slap below:

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Jabari Parker cites Coach K as big reason for choosing Duke

jabari-parker-dukeJabari Parker ended months of intense speculation by announcing on Thursday that he would attend Duke University after high school.

Parker is a consensus top five recruit for the 2013 class. The 6-foot-8 forward from Chicago cited Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as a big reason why he chose the Blue Devils.

“What brought me to the decision is the history. Duke is always going to be a team in the tournament. You can’t go wrong at the program. And most importantly, the long-term investment — I feel like if I go there, I can get a good degree,” Parker said during his Thursday announcement.

“Coach K, that’s one of the best coaches ever. I wanted to be able to experience the things that he has next year.

“[Coach K] has played a key role in my development throughout high school, just telling me basic things and what I need to do,” Parker said, per the News & Observer. “I just felt comfortable.”

When Parker first narrowed the list of schools he was considering for college, 10 made the cut. Those schools included: Kentucky, Stanford, Michigan State, Kansas, Florida, Duke, BYU, Georgetown, DePaul, and North Carolina. Parker then removed Georgetown and Kentucky from the list, and a few months later he dropped Kansas, DePaul, and North Carolina.

According to Sports Illustrated, before his visits to the remaining schools, Parker and his brother made the following list to help analyze his decision.

Coach: Duke
Academics: Duke/Stanford
Basketball: Michigan State
Environment: Duke
Spirituality: Undecided

Duke seemed like the clear favorite months ago, and it’s obvious Coach K was a big reason. It also helped when Coach K arranged to take Parker’s father, who has kidney problems, to a dialysis center on their visit to campus.

Parker has to be thrilled to have the recruiting process over now; even back in June it seemed like he was overwhelmed.

Image via ESPN/YouTube

U.S. Rep. Brad Miller: If Duke played against the Taliban, I’d root for the Taliban

Unfortunately for U.S. Representative Brad Miller, mulligans don’t exist. You can take one on the golf course if it makes you feel better, but everyone knows you’re cheating. When discussing the NCAA tournament last week, Miller shared some thoughts about his alma mater and their rivalry. A graduate of UNC, Miller is a big Tar Heels fan and, naturally, despises Duke. Either he thought he was being funny, or his hatred for the Blue Devils is pretty alarming.

“The way I deal with it is, I scream my lungs out for Carolina,” Miller said according to an Associated Press report. “I make no pretense that I am at all half-hearted in my support for Carolina. Nobody in North Carolina would trust a politician who claimed to be neutral on a matter as important as college basketball.

“I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban then I’d have to pull for the Taliban.”

Despite the fact that he is not running for reelection, Miller would probably like to have that one back. Being a huge sports fan is a fun way to relate to the common folk, but that statement is just plain idiotic. Once again, we have another example of why politicians need to be more careful when they mix in sports references. The comment Joe Arpaio made in Iowa was dumb, but it wasn’t insensitive.  If Miller has made the Taliban comment before and thought it was a good idea to make it again, something must be missing in his brain.

H/T Lost Lettermen
Photo Credit: Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE

UNC store selling shirts commemorating Duke’s loss to Lehigh (Picture)

It was certainly shocking when 15th-seeded Lehigh knocked off No. 2 seed Duke in the round of 64 on Friday night, but should a UNC store be bragging about it? Obviously Tarheel fans hate the Blue Devils and are thrilled they fell flat on their faces, but it seems like a bit of a stretch to be selling shirts that commemorate Lehigh’s win over Duke. If UNC gets knocked out in the next round, Duke’s loss probably won’t be as funny. Anything to make a buck and anything to highlight a lowlight for the Blue Devils, I suppose.

Thanks to Darren Rovell for the picture