March Madness 2012: Duke Bows Out Early and a Season of Hard Work is All for Not

 
on March 16 2012 10:49 PM
March Madness 2012: Duke Bows Out Early and a Season of Hard Work is All for Not

Put yourself in the place of a coach or a player of a top seeded team in the NCAA tournament.

You are projected to go far and topple almost any team that you come across.

Put yourself in the shoes of a coach or player of the Duke basketball program. 

In the case of Duke, you are the No. 2 seed, among the most famed basketball teams in the country, and coached by one of the most legendary coaches in American sports history.

You are playing a 15th seeded team, Lehigh, which has never won an NCAA tournament game in their history. After a tough and grueling 40 minutes, you come out losers. Post-game interviews provide the standard questions and answers. But what I really want to know is what is going through the heads of the coaches and the players on their way home?

I could only imagine what is going through Coach K's head. "What the hell just happened? Is this a dream?" Unfortunately, Coach K, this was not a dream it was a nightmare that just happened to be real. At some point it settles in, and perhaps hurts more than it did when it actually happened.

As for the players, I ask my readers the same question.

What do you think is going on through Austin River's head? Or the Plumlee boys' heads? Or Seth Curry? Its tough to sit on the bus or plane and not think about all the things you could have done or should have done.

I put a lot of emphasis on the Duke-Lehigh game because it featured a big name program. But lets not forget about the Norfolk State- Missouri game.

Because just like Duke, Missouri was the No. 2 seed and Norfolk the number 15. Norfolk came out on top. So I ask you, what do you think is going on in Coach Haith's head? And the rest of the Missouri team?

The Tigers stood a decent chance of breaking out a rather weak West Region, but couldn't even beat a small school while playing in nearby Omaha.

There is a great deal of heartbreak in college basketball, and after an early-round loss, a season of hard work the feeling of being bounced by a school many people have never heard of, has to be particularly painful.

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