The 2016 NCAA basketball season is just around the corner, which means fans are getting excited about their team’s chances of winning the NCAA championship in April. One team that is expected to be at the top of the polls when they are released is the Duke Blue Devils. The Devils, who are always college basketball odds favorites every year, have one of the most talented teams in country this year, which has their fans believing they will win their sixth national championship this year.
Since Mike Krzyzewski took over as head coach of the program, Duke has been one of the best college basketball programs in the country. The Blue Devils have started the season as the preseason number one team six times. In 1992, the team ended up winning the championship. In 1999, they made it to the national championship game, and in 1989, they made it to the semifinals before losing.
The 1989 team featured Danny Ferry, who was the ACC Player of the Year, Robert Brickey, Quin Snyder, and freshman Christian Laettner. The team started the season with 13 straight victories, before losing three consecutive games to North Carolina, Wake forest, and NC State. The Blue Devils lost to North Carolina again in the ACC tournament, and finished the season ranked 9th. Despite the disappointing end to the regular season, the Blue Devils reeled off four straight wins in the NCAA tournament including a win over Georgetown, who were the tournament favorites, before losing to Seton Hall in the Final Four.
The 1992 team was one of the most talented Duke teams ever, boasting a roster that included Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, and Bobby Hurley. Despite dealing with injuries and losses to North Carolina and Wake Forest, the Blue Devils were number one the whole season, won the ACC regular season and ACC tournament, before winning the national championship for the second consecutive year.
The 1999 team was considered to be more talented than the 1992 team, and lost only one game en route to a 37-1 record. The team dominated the ACC regular season and won the ACC tournament, but fell short of completing their run when they lost to the University of Connecticut in the national championship game.
According to basketball insiders, there is a 1-in-4 chance that the Blue Devils will win the championship this season, and a better than 50 percent chance the team will make the Final Four. However, we also have to be realistic when it comes to these things because there are a lot of variables that can mess things up.
The first thing is realizing that having the best team doesn’t guarantee a team will win the championship. The NCAA tournament is a single elimination tournament, which means that any team can lose at any time regardless of how good or talented the team is.
All it takes for an upset is a bad day for a good team and a great day for an average team. Injuries are also a factor in these things, because they are unpredictable and can’t be planned for.
Despite the potential obstacles, the Blue Devils have a very talented roster, and with Coach K running the show, expect to see them playing well into March next season.