Zion Williamson, R.J Barrett, Cameron Reddish and the Duke Blue Devils look the part as the best team in college basketball this season. Of course, Coach K’s team has appeared in only one game to this point but, in a thorough destruction of a fellow blue blood program in Kentucky, Duke looked fantastic. In response, some are now flatly assuming that the Blue Devils will cut down the nets in early April.
Of course, that is at least a little bit silly, simply because the NCAA Tournament is a series of 40-minute games with no margin for error, meaning that the best team doesn’t always win the ultimate college prize. Duke does, however, boast a rare collection of talent with three projected top-five picks in the upcoming NBA Draft and it is very easy to get carried away with excitement when discussing the team’s upside in 2018-19.
In fact, Duke looked so good in its opener that, in the sports media world, discussions are being had as to whether the Blue Devils could theoretically compete with the worst teams in the NBA, namely the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers. ESPN analyst Paul Pierce floated this hypothetical on the air this week and, while this is frankly preposterous, it did inspire some high-level Las Vegas bookmakers to come together on a fictional point spread for the game.