As the Sweet 16 begins tonight, let us not forget that Duke no longer in the tournament. The Blue Devils were ousted in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by South Carolina 88-81 Sunday night in Greenville. While it certainly was a joy for many to see Duke eliminated in the first weekend, it was also a shock to some. This Duke squad was highly touted from day one, and after suffering through some injuries, and a seven game absence of its Head Coach, Mike Krzyzewski, it closed the season with a bang by winning the four games in a row and the ACC Tournament championship. They were trending upward, and becoming a popular title pick.
Now, Duke is gone, and many brackets are busted, and predictions have been matured to wrong. Let’s go through some of the carnage…
BEGINNING OF THE SEASON
After Duke’s first game Rob Dauster from NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk was ready to crown em…
Just give them the damn title already. https://t.co/14Imh7Z8PN
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) November 16, 2016
Then, in December…
And that's WITHOUT its top player. https://t.co/JMVsLfW1fx
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) December 7, 2016
AFTER ACC TOURNMENT CHAMPIONSHIP
Duke rolled through the ACC tournament, winning four games in four days to win the championship, including a win over rival North Carolina in the semifinals. Afterwards, people were convinced that the Blue Devils were prime contenders for a title…
— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) March 12, 2017
Duke is…still getting better. Good luck to their early-round gets.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) March 12, 2017
*whispers into Twitter microphone*
I think Duke is going to win the National title.
— Kyle (@KyleSports757) March 12, 2017
Before the seeds were announced, confidence was oozing out of Durham…
That feeling when it's Selection Sunday and you have the automatic bid out of the most stacked conference in years ?? pic.twitter.com/TphMUH9p69
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 12, 2017
The the Blue Devils were given a 2-seed in the East region…
@TimGallagher1 Duke is walking to the final 4
— Michael McGarry (@ACPressMcGarry) March 12, 2017
Said it last night, will say it again today and all week leading up to Thursday: Duke will win the national title.
— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) March 12, 2017
Duke/Nova will be awesome in the Elite 8. And Duke will win.
— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) March 12, 2017
Duke is the NCAA tournament’s new team to beat. https://t.co/7SSR4dutyv
— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) March 12, 2017
— Wis. State Journal (@WiStateJournal) March 15, 2017
Duke easily into Final 4.
— Writing Illini (@WritingIlliniFS) March 12, 2017
Duke won't even be tested before facing Nova.
— Kevin Steimle (@kevsteimle) March 12, 2017
Duke comes out EASYYYY
— LG PROBLEM (@ProblemWright) March 12, 2017
Duke gets the 2, but gets to hang in Greenville. That's not bad.
— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) March 12, 2017
AFTER VILLANOVA LOSS
On Saturday afternoon, the 1-seed in the East, Villanova, was upset by Wisconsin. According to many, the result eliminated Duke’s only competition in its regional bracket…
Duke’s path to the Final Four looks ridiculously clear with Villanova’s loss. https://t.co/T7ivac3qV4
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) March 19, 2017
It's like my grandfather used to always say, "May your road to success be as easy as Duke's road to the Final Four."
— Jon Acuff (@JonAcuff) March 18, 2017
Another final 4 for Duke..got a little easier
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) March 18, 2017
Duke's road to Final Four just got a whole lot easier.
— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) March 18, 2017
Made Duke road to the Final 4 that much easier! ?
— Lavonte David (@LavonteDavid54) March 18, 2017
Duke's road to the Final Four just got easier
— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) March 18, 2017
Love you Badgers, clearing the road for Duke ??????
— Dave Briggs (@davebriggstv) March 18, 2017
Duke has the easiest path to a title. UCLA, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina are going to beat up on each other #MarchMadness
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) March 18, 2017
And Duke now has the easiest path to the Final Four.
— Jeremy Schneider (@J_Schneider) March 18, 2017
You guys Duke is going to win the NCAA tournament, don't shoot the messenger
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) March 18, 2017
Looked good at the time. Until next year, Blue Devils.