Duke Blue Devils (32-3) vs. LSU Tigers (25-8)
When: Tonight, 7:10 p.m.
1. Our University Is More Phallic Than Yours. If it were just the Duke Chapel, the giant, beautiful wang rising from the center of campus, it'd be one thing. But running the show is University president and former Yale Dean of Students, Richard "Dick" Brodhead. Be sure to get your Dick Brodhead jokes out of the way early, because by the third week of school, you've heard them all. The other building on campus that towers close to the height of the Chapel is the Schwartz-Butters Athletic Building, leading to plenty of "Two Towers" jokes: atop one tower sits University Carillonneur (that's "bell-player" for you Carolina grads) J. Samuel Hammond, plying his trade every day at 5 p.m. and ringing out the alma mater on Fridays; atop the other, protected by one of the only (if not THE only) thumbprint-scanning elevators on campus, sits Sauron, All-Seeing Eye of Mordor, The Dark Lord.
2. Well, It's A Good Thing He Has A Hobby. Big things were expected of well-loved Grant Hill when he graduated from Duke, and until 2000, he was on pace to have a Hall of Fame career. Since then, the only thing big about Grant Hill's career has been his medical bills. Four ankle surgeries, a major hip contusion, a foot sprain, a sports hernia and a nearly-fatal staph infection later, he's not the same player he was when he won back-to-back National Championships in '91 and '92. Still, he's been staying busy: His collection of African-American art is extensive and has gone on national tour; you can view it from now until July at the university's new Nasher Museum of Art.
3. You're Right, We Really DON'T Give A Damn About Your Team. Beyond the Carolina rivalry ... you may have heard of it ... Duke fans are really quite mild when it comes to rivalries with other schools, considering how many people nationwide would like to see the team bus explode in a ball of fire and then have the burning wreck develop cancer. Maryland is the closest thing Duke has to a secondary rival, mostly due to their burning inferiority complex and hooliganism towards Duke players, fans and mothers. Duke fans have tried to downplay the "rivalry" as Maryland has slipped down the rankings, wearing "Not Our Rivals" shirts to games and booting them from the important "2nd tenting game" distinction in favor of Wake Forest (who in turn will most likely be booted next season in favor of BC or NC State, depending on how the schedules work out). Duke fans (and Carolina fans!) also generally look down on Wake Forest (not enough tradition) and State (too redneck ... I can't remember the last time they've lost in Cameron without a "Start Your Tractors" chant developing). No team is our rivalry bitch, however, as much as Kentucky after the Laettner shot. Ask any Duke fan to list the top five teams they hate, and UK is lucky to sneak in behind Carolina, Maryland, NC State, and UConn — and BC and FSU are quickly climbing the list — but every Kentucky fan I've talked to has us no lower than No. 2 on their ladder of ire. One shot does not a rivalry make, Ruppsters. — Matt DeTura
1. Clawing It Out In The Paint. LSU's six-foot-nine sophomore center and SEC Player of the Year Glen "Big Baby" Davis is looming large in the Big Dancem averaging a double-double (21.5 points and 10.5 rebounds). Duke's Shelden Williams will have to paint himself all over the the 315-pounder like Sherwin Williams to have any chance of covering Davis in the paint.
2. Earning Their (Charity) Stripes. Tactics like "Hack a Shaq" or even "Smack the Baby" won't work with this LSU team. Even though the Tigers are young, they're cagey veterans from the free throw line. They shot an impressive 77.8 percent as a team against Iona and 78.3 percent against Texas A&M.
3. Magnum P.I. (Pretty Important). Keep an eye out for Magnum Rolle and LSU's other young role players. Sure, everyone's talking about Davis and senior Darrell Mitchell, but the Tiger freshmen could matter the most. LSU's freshmen don't have such fresh faces; check out Magum Rolle as he attempts to sport a stache and frosh Garrett Temple whose growth could be considered more "Magnum"-esque. As much as Gonzaga's Adam Morrison's white trash stache has been pimped by the press, LSU has quite a hirsute tradition of their own dating all the way back to the days of Pistol Pete. — Shane Igoe