Foe: #2 Duke Blue Devils (30-6)
Recent History: Villanova and Duke have not met in almost a decade, when the Blue Devils won 98-85 in the 2000 preseason NIT. Villanova is 3-7 all-time against Duke, but their last win was way back in 1958. Duke has consistently been one of the top teams in the country this season, maintaining a spot in the top 10 and spending a week ranked #1. They won the ACC Tournament over Florida State, and had several quality wins during the regular season including: Michigan, Purdue, Xavier, Georgetown, and Wake Forest. Duke destroyed Binghamton by 20 in the first round, then escaped Texas by 5 points in the second round. They were powered by 24 points from Gerald Henderson, who has been the team's best player this season. The junior G/F is averaging 16.8 points per game, and is looking like a potential lottery pick in the NBA draft. Right behind him is 6'8 super-soph Kyle Singler, averaging 16.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Jon Scheyer is the third Dukie averaging double figures at 14.9 points per game, most of which come from behind the arc where he shoots 39.5%. Rounding out the starting five are forward Lance Thomas (5.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and freshman point guard Elliot Williams (4.2 ppg). Off the bench they have guard Nolan Smith (8.5 ppg), 7'1 center Brian Zoubek (4.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg), and David McClure (1.9 ppg). Last and least is the infamous Greg Paulus. The once starting point guard has had a significant drop off in every statistical category this season, most notably minutes. The former star high school quarterback has got to be second guessing his choice to play basketball.
Famous Alumni: Basketball: Tommy Amaker, Shane Battier, Jay Bilas, Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, Johnny Dawkins, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Daniel Ewing, Danny Ferry, Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley, Dahntay Jones, Billy King, Christian Laettner, Corey Maggette, Shavlik Randolph, J.J. Redick, Jason Williams, Sheldon Williams
Other: Richard Nixon, Ron Paul, Paul Farmer, Michael Peterson, Jack Coleman, Tucker Max, Dave Brown
- University is named after tobacco industrialists James Buchanan Duke and his father Washington Duke.
- Duke has 3 National Championships, 14 Final Fours, 17 ACC Championships
- Duke has had a record 11 National Players of the Year
Final Verdict: This game has the makings to be an instant classic. Duke and Nova are two big names in college basketball, and the teams play similar styles. If Nova can bring that same kind of physical play they used against UCLA, I don't think the Blue Devils will be able to handle it. Coach K is one of the best coaches in the game, but Villanova has an inside man (transer Taylor King) to share some of Coach K's secrets. I think it will be a close game, but if they play like they did against UCLA, Nova should win it.
TV: 9:57 PM, CBS and NCAA.com
Links: Villanova.com, VUH, IBBW, LGN, VBTN, VV, VSB, Duke, Wiki, AP