Hypothetical Kentucky vs. Duke Dream Matchup Has Twitter Aflutter
It's August, so I must already be doing 2022 NCAA Tournament projections, right? Yes, I must be and am.
And they are based on absolutely NOTHING more than knowing who will be on what teams in the coming college basketball season. It's a fun exercise, but we've seen plenty of pre-season projections circle the bowl as time wore on and it became apparent that some teams were just better ON PAPER.
And, yes, 2020-2021 Kentucky Wildcats, I'm looking at you and your (hide your eyes) 9-16 record. But I say UK will do a 180 in 2021-2022. Will they cut down the nets next April? Who knows? Weird things can and DO happen in a single-elimination tournament. They certainly aren't the favorites heading into the season. But neither are their evil twins, the Duke Blue Devils. (And don't @ me over that; the colors are crazy similar and there's a prominent "UK" right there on the jerseys of both teams.)
And here's what's funny to me...Duke fans don't even hate Kentucky the way Kentucky fans DESPISE Duke. In fact, it's been my understanding, that Duke doesn't even consider it much of a rivalry. That attitude might be something that ALSO rubs Big Blue Nation the wrong way.
It's always been a fun part of college sports, though. No, Kentucky's arch-enemy will forever be Louisville in the same way that Duke's will always be North Carolina.
But the Duke-Kentucky thing will always be there and that has to be one of the reason's ESPN analyst Jay Bilas posted this:
Now, what's MY honest opinion? Well, here it is...I would LOVE to see that game.
Yes, that's a momentary cop-out. I would pick Kentucky and I am being COMPLETELY objective. I actually think Duke would win if Jay had selected other players. But the game would be close, either way.
When I've seen good Duke teams lose, it's often because they're caught off-guard by systems with which they are unfamiliar or individual players, the likes of which they have not seen.
And, yes, I see Zion Williamson and remember, all too well, that he and the Blue Devils DEMOLISHED Kentucky in the 2018 Champions Classic 118-84. Painful memory.
But Zion and his teammates weren't up against NEARLY the talent in this hypothetical tilt, which, yes, would be a BLAST to see unfold.
I say these NBA stars get together for a charity exhibition and settle it on the hardwood. How much fun would that be?
In the meantime, we'll have to settle for retiring Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski's LAST game against Kentucky on November 9th as part of the Champions Classic.
That will happen in Madison Square Garden (how perfect) and I cannot wait.