Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Duke won,but I still can't stand them

Yes,Duke is the king of college basketball once again.True,they won,but some of the favorites were knocked off on their way to the top.Thing is,I still can't stand them.I can't bring myself to root for them even if there was a gun to my head.Well,maybe I could in a few extreme cases.This is not a jump on the bandwagon kind of hate.It's been a lifelong deal for me.
  Way back,when I first started watching college basketball,I didn't know too much about them,but the only teams I knew in the ACC were North Carolina,Virginia,and Maryland.Didn't hear much of Duke,so I never cared much for them.Therefore,I didn't like them.As time went on my dislike for grew worse.Then came the 1986 NCAA tournament.A historical favorite to this day,Louisville made the finals.Duke was their opponent in that game.It was that tournament that made me realize I really didn't like Duke.I wanted every team tey played to beat them,no matter the odds.Duke lost,72-69, and I was so full of glee when it happened.I will admit that in next year's tournament,when they played Indiana,another team I'm not fond of,I pulled for them to win that game.Over time,they've been portrayed as the good guys of college basketball.I liken them more to the preppies that happen to be good,beat you and remind you of it for years on end.You know,players that inner city kids can't stand and want to choke the life out of.
  They always seem to be overrated.No matter who is on that team,they will get a top 10 ranking at the start of the year.Even in the Cherokee Parks days they were getting the rankings until the team tanked.When tourney time rolls around,it seems they never garner anything lower than a 3 seed.I know they've been seeded lower than that,but they're always the favorite going into their opening round game.The coach Mike Krzyzewski,is portrayed as the patron saint of college basketball,taking that mantle from Dean Smith,even though he is one of the most foul mouthed coaches around.He gets his four and five star preppie recruits from the suburban areas around the doubt these kids can ball,but I can't stand them since they're at Duke.I like Nolan Smith,but since he plays for Duke,I really can't bring myself to pull for the kid. This golden boy Duke image has really kicked in around 1991,when they took down big,bad,UNLV.UNLV at that point was like the Miami of college basketball.You know,too much swag for the game.Also,with the ultimate rebel as coach Jerry Tarkanian,everyone always thought there was something slimy about the Runnin Rebels.To this day ask anyone,they will tell you that UNLV threw that game.It was a gift.The Rebels crushed Duke the year before by 30,with basically the same teams coming back.Duke was thought of as the good guys in that game.The cowboys with the white hats.The year after,they repeated beating an upstart Kentucky team recovering from probation in one of the most epic games in NCAA tournament history,on a Christian Laettner buzzer beater.Thing is Laettner shouldn't have even been in the game.Raeson:for stomping on Kentucky's Aminu Timberlake's chest.Years down the road I saw that happen with Houston's Aubrey Coleman,and he was kicked out against Arizona.Then they beat my home team Michigan in the finals.Michigan had the Fab Five and to some represented everything that was wrong with college basketball,while Duke was everything that was right about it.On top of all this we have to hear Duke,er,Dick Vitale singing their praises every time he gets in front of a camera.I know there are some people who like them,and will disagree with me.There are some that have different reasons.But in the end,I will give them credit for winning another National Championship,but I simply cannot ever be a fan of Duke basketball.
Maybe this is why I realized I could never become a sports broadcaster.

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