Bracing for a Tourney Loss

I’m not very proud of it, but I’ve already braced myself for a Duke tournament loss. Rather than looking at the bracket with an eye for Snow Whites or Cinderellas, I find myself frantically scanning the teams, paranoid at not knowing which will beat Duke. This is the first year since the season that shall not be mentioned that I don’t have Duke winning in at least one bracket. Even in 2008, I had Duke taking the title, though we limped into March as a particularly weak 2 seed. (Sound familiar?) I’m tired of having my heart torn from my chest Temple of Doom style, so this year, I’ve decided to try an experiment and embrace any inklings of pessimism by evaluating Duke’s potential opponents by round and determining how acceptable a loss at that point would be. Won’t you join me?

First Round:
Lehigh – On ESPN’s national bracket, 1.2 % of people have decided that ruining their bracket is worth it to make a point about Mike Krzyzewski cursing too much, or something. A first round Duke loss has always been enough to cheer up any fan of the underdog, even in 2007 when Duke shouldn’t really have been the favorite against VCU. I just can’t take the shame of losing that early again, especially to a team like Lehigh, whom I won’t even dignify by looking up any information about.

Second Round:
Only once in my fandom lifetime has Duke lost in the second round, when they squeaked by Belmont in the first game (thanks to a coast to coast finger roll from Gerald ‘Space Ghost’ Henderson), only to be annihilated by Huggy Bear’s Mountaineers in the second round.
Xavier – You just know what will happen in Xavier beats Duke: every idiot who has no idea how good Xavier has been will be all like “HAHA, Duke lost to some mid major.” This is unacceptable.
Notre Dame – How is it that the school everyone loves to hate in football has some sort of charmingly scrappy basketball team? All the classic criticisms of Duke are there with ND – private school, snobby students, ugly white players like Ben Hansbrough and Luke Harangody. Coach Mike Brey (who was a Duke assistant) looks more like a slimy used car salesman than your average coach. No way should Duke fans have to endure a loss in the battle of entitled and unlikeable braggarts.

What do I have to do to get you in this Buick today?

Sweet Sixteen:
I think I join most reasonable fans by saying I will be pleased if Duke wins any more than two games. Still there are certain teams to whom I would rather Duke not lose.
Baylor – Even the president has Duke losing this rematch from that classic Elite Eight game two years ago. Though I am a sucker for their green and gold, as well as players with roman numerals after their names, there is no way I want to lose to this asshole.
UNLV – This wouldn’t be so bad. I doubt that anybody is still sore over the 1990 and 1991 Final Four games, and I just think its good for the sport to have Las Vegas more involved in college basketball. I for one would welcome our new Rebel overlords.

I'm telling you, Roseanne saved my life when I was on drugs.

Elite Eight:
Indiana – As ridiculous as the state of Mike Krzyzewski’s hair is, I find the concept of losing to a coach with a center-part abhorrent.

Kentucky – It’s been 20 years since Duke and UK’s Elite Eight matchup became “The Greatest Game Ever Played” and while it would be sweet to see Ryan Kelly fake right, turn left, and drain a jumper, I wouldn’t really mind losing to Kentucky this year, mostly out of solidarity for my brother in unibrows, Anthony Davis.

Famous unibrowed Americans Joe Flacco and Anthony Davis (right).

National Semifinals:
Missouri  – Much to my surprise, Frank Haith has turned out to be only about a quarter as bad of a coach as I thought he was.
Michigan State – How could I be mad about losing to MSU? Everybody Loves Draymond.

Championship Game:
Syracuse – It would be nice to send a welcome message to our future ACC brethren, but I’ll deal with losing this game if it’ll make Juli Boeheim smile.
Florida State  – Out of gratitude for their ACC tournament win, I’m prepared for Duke to get speared by the Noles for the third time.
Ohio State – Honestly, it would be far the first game we lost at the hands of Greg Paulus, and probably not the last.
North Carolina – This game has been deemed impossible.
Kansas – I’ve always had a soft spot for Kansas, so I could forgive a loss, just as long as this dunce doesn’t show up.

Awww, dadgum it.

Georgetown  – Who am I kidding? Fuck all of these teams. Duke can take them all! We’ve got Plumlees for weeks! Rivers Flow-mo! Quin and Tyler at the point to switch the styles up and keep opponents off balance! The White Raven swooping out from the locker room, like a winged Willis Reed! Five extra fouls from Josh Hairston! NOTHING CAN STOP US! NOTHING, I SAY!!

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One Response to Bracing for a Tourney Loss

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  1. Lehigh didn’t “dignify” you guys much either.

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