NCAA Tournament Live Blog: (2) Duke Vs. (15) BinghamtonS

Your live blogger for this game will be Duke student Jeff Lieberman who, unlike his basketball classmates, did not whine or pay me off in any way to get this gig.

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Hey folks – time for the nightcap. As a current Duke student and unapologetic Blue Devils fan, this game intrigues me because Binghamton seems to have modeled its program after Duke's. Like Duke, Binghamton won't compromise its standards – academic or otherwise - to build a basketball program. Like Duke, Binghamton's players don't run afoul of the law – but if they were to, they'd face severe consequences. And like Duke, Binghamton has had some success recruiting role players from Eastern Europe. If Binghamton can keep this up, it might even begin to replicate Duke's nation-wide reservoir of goodwill. Eh, maybe not.

On the court, it should be fun. Duke's been pretty successful since replacing the Paulus/Smith duo with Elliot Williams and moving Jon Scheyer to the point. ACC Tourney MVP Scheyer shoots a spot-up three pretty well, but since his release is so slow, he can't get shots off as easily against taller players. Since Binghamton starts a smallish lineup, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Gerald Henderson has been on a tear most of the season and Singler's averaged almost 20 a game over his last six. Binghamton's best shot will be to get Scheyer or Williams into foul trouble. Nolan Smith can get a little jittery under pressure, and Paulus…well…even the most ardent Duke fan will admit that he can do a pretty good impression of a pylon.

So crack open a beer and bear with me while I try to navigate a live blog. On to the game…
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11:46: Alright, I've saved it up all night. I even put on my rugby jersey and had my butler read the rant before I posted it...nah, I can't. I've had too much fun. When you get the chance to post on DU!AN, you go for it, even if the general thrust of the comments is that I should gargle K's semen. I'd be worried if the reaction were anything else. Good night - can't wait for Round 2.

11:43: Zoubek + Paulus sinking threes? We're about two minutes from the walk-ons.

11:38
: For a second, I thought they were bringing Kornheiser to the booth. On the one hand, my ears would have exploded, but on the other hand, it would've taken the heat off me.

11:35: First free throw tonight? With 7:15 left in the second half? Binghamton just got into foul trouble way too early...

11:31: Obligatory Paulus love, creepy reference about Coach K's family - Nantz is working really hard tonight.

11:29: Fuller still's playing hard and finishing. That's about it on the Binghamton end.

11:22: Binghamton's cut it to 20. Fuller's pretty effective when he's on the court. Kellog just gave a sympathetic Binghamton speech. Looks like everyone's struggling to finish this one off.

11:19: That sign was the worst of everything.

11:11: Missed goaltending call, open three, and it's a 24 point game. Timeout. Timeout. Getting pretty slow.

11:07: Yes, Thomas' feet were moving on the last offensive foul.

11:06: Fuller's out, Jaan's back, and Duke's threes are dropping...

11:01: And we're back. Nice fadeaway by Fuller to cut it to 12.

10:44: If AIPAC comments are as bad as it'll get, I think I can survive the second half. I'm growing to like Binghamton; I just wish they'd start driving a bit more before rather than settling for ugly jumpers. Definitely a fast enough team. Instead, if they'd just bring some high picks, drive and dish it back, this game could stay close. And I won't have to live-blog Lost reruns.

10:40: Step-back threes? Maybin's getting hot - too bad we've at the half.

10:37: My commenter name is an homage to Pot Roast and Gravy, who had an unfortunate but deserved banning. I will not touch a Hank Gathers joke. Old Marymount games are too fun to watch.

10:34: Seems like Rivera's been isolating Henderson a bit lately. Not the worst move - with the current lineup, Henderson might actually be one of the slower defenders.

10:28: And box out. David McClure can't get Orebs like that. Rivera's making some nice looks...if he can keep it to two fouls before the half...

10:27: The Asian kid's passed out - definitely a Duke party. I really think Binghamton could have some success if they'd press Scheyer and run a bit more.

10:22: Been sitting on this Nick Cage link all night - I didn't figure "Knowing" would buy this expensive a commercial slot...

10:19: So what's standard operating procedure when they break away from the game I'm live-blogging for good? Should I just guess? Watch the box score? Live blog a gamecast? We're not too far away...

10:16 - For what it's worth, the only way Duke will consistently break the press is if they keep sending Henderson back. Or take Paulus off the court. Update: Just did.

Rivera loves fadeaway 3s, huh?

10:13: CPU? Computer? Processing Unit? UNIBROW?

10:09: Seems like only the city of Binghamton is getting it worse than me right now...Jesus...Big Country Reeves isn't the ugliest brother?

10:05: My Duke friends are all excited Paulus is in - I'm just cringing. Binghamton should just isolate him and drive. I won't even resort to the athleticism cliche...

10:04: For what it's worth, Binghamton's getting boards. They just can't make shots.

9:58: Couple of things to watch (and I promise I'll become less Duke-centric once I learn the Bearcats' name) - If they'll give Smith a step to penetrate, he can create good looks (Thanks, Jo). When teams pressure him, though, he starts standing still and dribbling backwards. I'm also not that much of a Zoubek homer. He's only functional when he's fired up and then they put him in the high post. Otherwise, he's a corpse. Think a dead Cherokee Parks.

9:57: Binghamton's not afraid of the moment? Cliches already.

I have no idea how deep Binghamton is, but 6 fouls is pretty problematic.

9:54: Took Scheyer a while to get out of the back court - I'd love a PG who can break this press.

9:52: It'll be interesting to see if they bring Zoubek in quickly - Duke's had success this year putting him up in the high post.

9:51: We're off - Like the full-court pressure on the Binghamton end. We're not that deep.

9:47: (shot of the Blue Devils band) no, no, no, no, flautist - maybe. Entire city of Binghamton - never been, but I can guess.

9:40: Always hate waiting for the games. While we're waiting for the game to start, I'll make a deal: No snobby Duke jokes, No hackneyed standardized test chants, a minimum of smarminess (sic?). However, Malik Allen did steal condoms from a Wal-Mart.

9:35: Mass hysteria in Durham. The law library's half empty, and that one girl from out of town has already started drinking.