Who? The Blue Devils of Duke.
What? They're named for hardcore French soldiers.
Where? Durham, North Carolina, the "flower of the Carolinas".
Why? It's either the 27 wins or the single-digit TLAs, take your pick.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference by both the blue ribbon panel and the coaches, they ended up in second, four games back of Notre Dame and tied in record with Maryland.
Record: 27-6 (12-4 ACC)
Good wins: At Kentucky.
Bad losses: The regular-season sweep by North Carolina couldn't have been popular. Avenged in the ACC semifinals, though, and not terrible in any case.
Who's running this show? Joanne P. McCallie, since 2007. You have to wonder if her husband's job at North Carolina isn't awkward.
Extra, Extra! The News and Observer
The ongoing storyline for Duke has been the loss of their point guards- Kionna Holland to transfer, Chloe Wells by injury and withdrawal from the team, Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones with knee injuries. Senior Tricia Liston has stepped up, and stepped up, and stepped up some more in answer, with 17.3 points per game on 52.9% shooting (48.3% from 3-point range). Junior center Elizabeth Williams can be big in the middle (14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.9 blocks) but has been somewhat foul-prone and inconsistent.
As a team, Duke had good A/TO numbers- except the total season numbers include Gray and Jones. Right now, it looks like the best A/TO belongs to Williams. Not a good sign.
Random things that might only amuse me: keep an eye on Haley Peters (11.2 points, team-high 7.7 rebounds).