The Duke Blue Devils were a No. 1 seed last season and won a national championship on the back of a deadly trio of center Jahlil Okafor, point guard Tyus Jones and electric wing Justise Winslow, so fans knew that defending that title in 2016 would be tough after all three of those players left for the NBA.
And Duke did draw a No. 4 seed this year, but wasn’t expected to do much since Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski only had seven warm bodies with which to work due to an injury-ravaged roster.
Instead, Coach K and his players have proven their doubters wrong.
The Blue Devils have made it back to the Sweet Sixteen and have a date with No. 1 Oregon in Anaheim tomorrow night. The road back to the championship game, let alone the Elite Eight and Final Four, is an uphill climb, but Duke appears ready to get down and dirty in repeating as a champion.
That said, let’s dig a little deeper into this legendary program and how they got this far.