Somewhere last night, Jalen Rose cried crocodile tears of joy.
I sat in Bar Louie near the Verizon Center last night taking in the Sweet 16 contests. After two of my Final Four selections advanced to the Elite 8 (Florida and UConn), I was somewhat allowed to breathe easy watching the latter two games square off (although I had Butler and Duke winning). The Arizona game was intriguing though. The Wildcats were talented and led by freak-of-nature Derrick Williams, but Duke was Duke and they always tend to win games of this ilk. Plus, the return of Kyrie Irving had everyone penciling them in to repeat as national champs and the logic was there to support that.
But as a great man once said, "this is why you play the game."
Man, that boy Williams came out the gates throwing haymakers in the first half which included a downright disgusting put back dunk over "Powder" (that's Kyle Singler) and a three pointer to bring Arizona within six at halftime. After intermission saw a completely different story. Duke had no answer, or rebounds for that matter, and the final twenty minutes became more of a celebration than two teams fighting to get to the round of eight.
The Wildcats star did manage to kill two birds with one stone though. Not only did his squad get the victory making for one hell of match up on Saturday against Kemba Walker and UConn, but his draft stock became even more appealing. He was already a high lottery pick to begin with, but mark my words, if the Wizards land the first pick again this year (which is highly possible), they will jump at the opportunity to add a versatile forward to pair alongside John Wall, Nick Young and JaVale McGee.
With all that being said, the Austin Rivers era in Durham starts now.
Respect: <a href="http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2011/03/video-derrick-williams-dunks-on-duke/">SLAM</a>.