Duke showed it can be beat

March 19, 2002 9:06 AM
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The NCAA Tournament teams are down to 16. Most folks think Duke is a cinch, however the Irish showed the nation that the Blue Devils are vulnerable.

Believe it or not, there are a half dozen teams that can win this thing. UCLA is a most dangerous opponent. Oregon, Maryland, Kent State are worthy, lest we forget Kansas.

Here is how it looks.

Thursday, March 21
Midwest ”” at Madison, WI

Oregon (—3½) 78, Texas 65 (160): The Ducks have plenty of firepower. Take OREGON.

Kansas (—5) 67, Illinois 61 (155): The Fighting Illini, after a couple of setups, meet a toughie. Take KANSAS.

West ”” at San Jose, CA

UCLA (—1½) 81, Missouri 75 (154): The over in the total looks like the play in this game. Take OVER.

Oklahoma (—2½) 69, Arizona 66 (147½): The Wildcats run out of time. This could be the Sooners’ year to go to the Final Four. Take OKLAHOMA.

Friday, March 22
East ”” at Syracuse, NY

Maryland (—6½) 76, Kentucky 73 (156): The Wildcats are not easy at this stage of the game. Take KENTUCKY.

So. Illinois (+5) 67, UConn 65 (145): The ­­underdog Salukis can be awful tough. Take SOUTHERN ILLINOIS.

South ”” at Lexington, KY

Duke (—12) 79, Indiana 55 (150): The Blue Devils are too quick, too talented and too experienced for this crew. To go through the Final Four, you have to get past Duke. That’s a tough proposition. Everyone will be shooting at them. Lots of luck.

Kent State (+1) 75, Pittsburgh 73 (129): This backyard brawl will bring out the best in these two. I’m afraid the winner will have nothing left for the next opponent.