Devils' Advocate: White Men Can Jump

Every week, this recent Duke graduate will offer you a new reason not to hate the Duke Blue Devils, the bestest basketball team in the land. You are free to disagree.

LAST WEEK'S GAMES: Duke 82, Kansas State 68; Duke 98, Oregon 71. RECORD: 6-0. NATIONAL RANKING: 1 (AP, ESPN/USA Today).

THIS WEEK'S REASON WHY DUKE ISN'T REALLY SO LOATHSOME: Do you know those toy baskets that come with a Nerf ball in the packaging that's simply impossible to pry apart? You bust out a pair of super-duper-sharp scissors and hope you don't catch a finger with some plastic, all to feel the mindless thrill of stuffing a cushy ball through a flimsy hoop above a doorframe. (Oh, who am I kidding? Those things are so awesome.) Anyway, the reason I bring up this sophisticated form of exercise is because Miles Plumlee and Mason Plumlee — related! — basically do this every game, except on real, 10-foot-tall rims, all orange and iron and clangy. These high-flying acrobatics, as you might expect, are difficult to defend, especially when they're the products of halfcourt passes. So while you're surely using tempo-free stats to project real analysis on tonight's long-awaited clash between Duke and Michigan State, here, thanks to the video folks at Duke Blue Planet, is a very important reel of alley-oops involving one (or both!) of the Brothers Plumlee.

OPPOSING COACH'S DEFERENTIAL QUOTE: Duke was so good against Kansas State, Frank Martin ventured into urological analogy: "They knocked the living piss out of us. If there's a team better than they are, I don't want to play them."

YOU PEOPLE: I was surprised to hear that some of you people have strong biases against Duke! This week, there was even one reader who believes my opinion of my alma mater reveals a sort of anatomical shortcoming:

Duke fans are really one of a kind. I have never seen a more insecure fan base.
This has very little to do with the product put on the court, since Duke puts out a great team just about every year. The problem is that like every other great team in the history of sports, they are seen as villains.

Lakers, Celtics, Yankees, Cowboys, Patriots, Steelers, Habs and Redwings all loathed by the majority of sports fans. If a team goes on any type of run, they are seen as evil. The big difference between those teams and Duke is that Duke can't seem to accept the fact that people just naturally want to hate great teams. Other fans do not try to convince their respected sports to fall in love with their team. Yankees fans tell you that your team sucks. They don't say, you should really give up being a Royals fan and route for the Yankees because Jeter plays his heart out every night. (ESPN does that). But Duke…Duke tries to get you be a fan by trying to convince the world that Coach K is the cleanest and best recruiter ever in College Basketball. The Media and the polls always respects Duke, but that isn't good enough is it? Duke needs everyone to love Duke and will not rest until everyone LOVES Duke. National Championships are almost meaningless to you people. I know Duke Alums and happen to live with one, which is unbearable during basketball season. I almost made her cry when we first met for saying I don't like Duke and was subjected for an exact answer of why, which was fairly obvious.

This article just proves my point. You are so insecure about Duke you have to try to convince everyone every single week not to hate your team.

This was easily the lamest thing I have ever read. Stop trying to convince the world to like your program and be the villain. Show some balls and maybe more people with actually respect your team.

Keep those emails coming!

WHEN YOU CAN NEXT ROOT AGAINST DUKE: With those mushy shots of Hinkle Fieldhouse and the cerebral wisdom of Brad Stevens and the feel-goody clips of community service, Butler's ESPN All-Access episode might as well have been on PBS. But man, I have such a crush on this team. How could you not? I did last year, too, even when Gordon Hayward nearly — well, you remember. And Brad Stevens! That guy. Anyway, there are things I can write that are true — mostly that Butler isn't good enough, at least not yet, to beat Duke on Saturday, and also that it shouldn't cost anyone $90 to watch that game, especially from the upper deck of the Meadowlands — but mostly irrelevant. Because you know what? Butler!

Photo and video via Duke Blue Planet.