Category - NCAA

Duke Blue Devils are 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions!
Final Four Features Games Most Legendary Teams and Coaches
March Madness Really Gets Underway with Sweet 16

Duke Blue Devils are 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions!

Duke2015NationalChamps1After a month of true madness, the Men’s Division I Basketball National Championship pitted two of the sport’s most dominant NCAA teams against each other on Monday April 6, 2015 for a game that basketball fans will remember forever. In a match-up between the Duke Blue Devils and the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 2015 national champion finally emerged after a night of thrilling moments and nail-biting play.

Although the national championship did not present the highly anticipated Kentucky versus Duke match-up that many predicted at the beginning of the tournament, the Badgers and Blue Devils put on quite a show. As the first half got underway, it was evident that neither team was going down without a fight. Featuring 13 lead changes in the first 20 minutes, the game was extremely close all the way up to halftime that paused the game at a score of 31-31. The second half followed suit until the Badgers broke away for a nine-point lead, but Wisconsin’s dreams of the crown were short-lived after missing several shots and Duke began to close the deficit courtesy of superstar freshmen Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen. Putting up 23 and 16 points, respectively, Jones and Allen led the Duke Blue Devils to overcome the Wisconsin Badgers’ lead. With a final score of 68-63, the Blue Devils defied the Badgers of their first championship since 1941 and brought home the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to add to its collection of four previous titles.

As both the fifth title for the Blue Devils and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the 2015 National Championship redefined sports history. Duke University moved into third for most NCAA championships, while Coach K solidified his reputation as one of the greatest coaches in sports and the only college basketball coach to win a title in three different decades.

Commemorate the 2015 Men’s Basketball Champions and check out the unique collection of Duke Blue Devils memorabilia below:

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Final Four Features Games Most Legendary Teams and Coaches

Wildcats-Final-FourAn incredible assortment of 64 NCAA teams entered the month of March with the hopes of being crowned as the newest champions of Division 1 college basketball. Now, only four remain. After an entire month of thrilling competition, the stage is finally set for the Final Four in Indianapolis to host several of the game’s most historic programs and legendary coaches.

The top seeded Duke Blue Devils will tip-off against the seventh seeded Michigan State Spartans first in Indianapolis. For the Blue Devils, a trip to the Final Four has become routine. Under the reign of Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke has made a dozen Final Four appearances, including five in a row from 1988-1992. Coach K has led Duke to four NCAA championship victories, most recently in 2010 located, coincidentally, in Indianapolis. The Duke roster features a plethora of young talent, most notably freshman guards Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook, as well as the potential number one pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Jahlil Okafor.

Across the court from the Blue Devils will be Tom Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans squad. Michigan State is the Cinderella story of the group and has made quite a miraculous run to the Final Four, after starting off the season losing three of their first nine games. As a matter of fact, it took the Spartans nearly three full months to take down their first ranked opponent. However, the Spartans got hot down the stretch and earned a seventh seed in the Big Dance after a tremendous showing at the Big Ten Conference Tournament. Much like their opponent, the Spartans owe much of their success to head coach Tom Izzo. This will be Izzo’s seventh Final Four appearance with Michigan State and he is seeking his second national championship.

Wisconsin-Final-FourThe second semi-final matchup will be between the University of Wisconsin and an undefeated Kentucky Wildcats team. The Wisconsin Badgers have been nothing short of extraordinary this season, posting a 35-3 record throughout the regular season and playoffs. Many of those 35 wins can be credited to the incredible play of senior center Frank Kaminsky. The seven-footer from Chicago averaged 18.7 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game throughout the regular season and looks like a favorite to win the 2015 Wooden Award given to the Men’s Player of the Year. The Badgers have breezed through the NCAA Tournament thus far, most recently posting a commanding 85-78 victory against the second seeded Arizona Wildcats. Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan is heralded as one of the greatest coaches to ever take the sidelines as he has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year four times.

The road to history defining greatness is finally winding down for the Kentucky Wildcats. One of the most dominant college hoops teams ever assembled, the 2014-15 Cats look destined for the record books as they seek to cap off an undefeated season. Head Coach John Calipari is a masterful recruiter, as he was able to land some of the nation’s most talented players out of high school. Among these now-freshman superstars are forwards Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles. While UK is largely known for their wide array of “one and done” players, the Wildcats do have some veteran leadership this season. Seven-foot junior Willie Cauley-Stein has been a force down low for Kentucky this season while brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison are averaging 9 and 11 points per game, respectively.

With the potential for a Cinderella upset from the Spartans and the continued story of the undefeated Wildcats facing off against two very talented opponents with the ability to crush their highest hopes, the Final Four is sure to provide two epic match-ups. Gear up for plenty of can’t miss action heading into the semi-final round as the Final Four duke it out for just two coveted spots at the 2015 NCAA Championship.

March Madness Really Gets Underway with Sweet 16

UndefeatedKentuckyAfter one the most exciting weekends of sports each year, the madness that gave March its nickname has officially begun and the match-ups are set for the 2015 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. Living up to the hype, March Madness provided basketball fans with a pretty epic prelude to the awaited round of 16, but the competition is just heating up. Considering only eight teams in the running for the crown after the two days of Sweet Sixteen match-ups, the drama is sure to continue.

Despite the typical excitement of the NCAA tournament, play in the Midwest Region has been relatively predictable. Championship favorite and undefeated contender, the Kentucky Wildcats cruised to a pair of easy victories en route to the Sweet Sixteen. As the team to beat, the University of Kentucky will look to continue its reign while the West Virginia Mountaineers attempt to pull of the biggest upset of the tournament. On the other hand, the third seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish won the “Battle of Indiana” against the Butler Bulldogs to stay in play, but will have to defeat a strong Wichita State Shockers team that has serious momentum after upsetting the second seeded Kansas Jayhawks.

All didn’t remain calm leading up to the Sweet Sixteen in the West Region, which provided what ranks among the most monumental upsets in recent March Madness history. Georgia State showed a glimpse of potential as this year’s Cinderella story at the Panthers pull off a last minute upset over the Baylor Bears courtesy of a game-winning three pointer from R.J. Hunter. Despite their huge victory, Georgia State’s run at the title ended in a loss to Xavier in the Round of 32. With the next round, the Xavier Musketeers will have to pull off an upset of its own when they take on the Arizona Wildcats, a very serious threat to take home the title this season. Atop the region, sits the dominant Wisconsin Badgers who may only be slightly challenged by a North Carolina Tar Heels team that barely survived the first round against Harvard and just missed the Sweet Sixteen after a second round win against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

cardinalsNCAAwinContinuing on the trend of insanity in NCAA basketball, the East Region suffered its own handful of the tournament’s legendary upsets and is officially wide open. Number one seeded Villanova Wildcats suffered an unforgettably devastating loss during the Round of 32 to NC State, leaving the top spot up for grabs. Following the number one team, the second-seeded Virginia Cavaliers also fell in the second round to a seemingly unstoppable Michigan State squad. With two Cinderella teams in the running, the East might just provide this year’s wildcard as the Spartans are favored to overtake the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sweet 16 and the NC State Wolfpack has the chance to pull off a miraculous victory over the defending champion Louisville Cardinals.

Contributing its own bit of commotion to the tournament, the South Region also featured a pair of colossal upsets. Number six team SMU was eliminated from the competition in the final seconds of a second round match-up with a controversial call against the UCLA Bruins. Although the Bruins are a team that many thought shouldn’t even be at the tournament, a goaltending call on Mustangs center Yanick Moreira gave UCLA the victory and eventually a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. Although the Iowa State Cyclones were also a popular Final Four pick, the predictions couldn’t have been more wrong. The Cyclones were stunned in the round of 64 by a persistent UAB team, who didn’t remain in the competition much longer. After UCLA went on to defeat UAB in the Round of 32, the Bruins now face an extremely tough Gonzaga team in their pursuit of the title. Since the first whistle of the Round of 64, the Duke Blue Devils proved they are serious contenders for a national title. The Blue Devils had two effortless wins on their way to a fourth round match-up against the fifth-ranked Utah Utes.

Don’t miss a second of the madness as thrill of the 2015 NCAA Basketball Tournament continues and a national champion begins to emerge. While the Kentucky Wildcats are still favored to take home the title, this basketball tournament is deemed March Madness for a reason. Just sixteen teams remain in the running and the competition is guaranteed to get fiercer as March comes to an end.

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