Why Duke will win the title again and no one will like it

Creative Commons Cameron Crazies by Adam Glanzman is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Yet another NCAA tournament is upon us. March Madness and all of its hysteria is soon to be underway and with that, another crown will be presented to the king of the ‘Big Dance’.

Through a season of turbulence and surprises week after week, many were left unclear as to who would come out on top after the dust had settled. Looking through the ‘crystal-ball’ I hold, one team has kept rising and growing this year, strengthening their odds to be the ones singing One Shining Moment in San Antonio.

The Duke Blue Devils; led by senior Grayson Allen and a talented cast of freshmen phenoms, all nurtured by the maestro of hoops: head coach Mike Krzyzewski, have been the squad who look most fit for a national title.

On top of all that, they have experience unlike any other. Yes, this is the first go-around at the tournament for the countless stud-freshmen the Blue Devils have, but Allen knows what it takes to bring a title back to Krzyzewskiville. In 2015, Allen was the unlikely hero of Duke’s run to the crown, playing out of his mind in the Final Four as a bench player and creating memorable plays to come out on top. No one saw the skinny Allen as a threat back then, but now he stands as one of the faces of the sport and a leader younger players can lean on in crunch time.

In any part of the past regular season for the Blue Devils, they proved to have what it takes to close out and clinch key victories – whether it was shooting the lights out against Michigan State in the first week of the season, or erasing a 10 point halftime-deficit on senior night to defeat bitter-rival North Carolina by 10 points – Duke has battled game-in and game-out with the best of the best, pulling out a victory in most of these contests. Knowing what it feels like to be in an intense game is crucial for deep tournament runs.

On the topic of deep tournament runs, Duke owns the competition in fighting their way to the Final Four and cutting down the nets. Players might graduate and go pro, but for decades the Blue Devils have always found a way to go the distance at the end of the day. From Laettner to Smith to now Allen, it runs through the Blue Devil blood – being a champion, most notably, a national champion.

This year, it is projected that this Duke super-team has a somewhat easy road to San Antonio. It won’t be a surprise to see them there and most likely taking some hardware back home when it’s all over.

It’s Grayson Allen’s last hurrah. His final go as a senior. He was king as a freshman.

Looks like he will go out as a winner this time too.

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