Redick, Duke Get Some Help In ACC Opener
J.J. Redick
J.J. Redick
National Basketball Columnist
Posted Mar 10, 2006

The MIA jump shot of J.J. Redick was back in the All-America's holster Friday afternoon as Duke edged Miami in an ACC quarterfinal. And the Blue Devils got the kind of performances from Josh McRoberts, DeMarcus Nelson and Greg Paulus they will need to get to Indianapolis on the first weekend of April.

J.J. Redick’s jump shot finally showed up Friday afternoon after running away from home for a couple of weeks.


But, even while pulling out an 80-76 decision over the University of Miami that snapped a two-game losing streak, Duke continued to look, at times, like a team running on fumes.


Even more significant to the Blue Devils’ victory in the ACC quarterfinal than Redick’s shooting (nine of 17 from the field, including five of 11 on 3’s) was the boost that sophomore DeMarcus Nelson (14 points, including four of seven on 3’s) and freshmen Josh McRoberts (10 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots) and Greg Paulus (eight points, five assists and zero turnovers) gave Mike Krzyzewski’s team.


The Blue Devils are a Sweet 16 team if they have to depend on Redick and Shelden Williams to pretty much carry the offensive load for them in each NCAA Tournament game. If they are getting solid productivity from the likes of Nelson, McRoberts and Sean Dockery, they are a Final Four team.


It sounds pretty simple but it’s also an accurate assessment.



*As was the case with Seton Hall (with its 13-point loss to Rutgers in a Big East first-round game) Wednesday, Air Force (to Wyoming, in the Mountain West), Florida State (to Wake Forest, in the ACC) and Michigan (to Minnesota, in the Big Ten) suffered potentially NCAA Tournament bid hopes-crushing defeats in games most figured they needed to win to secure at-large bid aspirations.


The Pirates and Wolverines have slicker at-large resumes than do the Falcons and Seminoles (despite the latter’s win over Duke last week).


But Michigan has dropped seven of its past nine games (albeit, five of those coming to teams that will be in the NCAA Tournament). And Seton Hall has lost four of its past six games – all of those coming at the hands of teams who have no shots at NCAA tourney bids.


That’s why Wolverines’ and Pirates’ players and coaches will have queasy stomachs waiting for CBS to unveil the tournament bracket Sunday evening.


You’ve put yourself into that position, guys.


*Tennessee isn’t exactly rolling into Selection Sunday with gobs of momentum.


The Volunteers’ 79-71 loss to South Carolina was their fourth in the past six games.


A few weeks ago Bruce Pearl’s team was looking like a likely No. 2 seed. A four is probably as good as it will get Sunday.


*Last month, it seemed likely that Indiana would be playing host to an NIT game in the third week of March.


But, after seven losses in a stretch of nine games during which Mike Davis announced his resignation, the Hoosiers are playing like the potential Sweet 16 team they appeared to be in December. Their 61-56 victory over a very anemic Wisconsin team Thursday in Indianapolis was their fifth in a row.


If they’re an eight or nine seed and survive their opening-round game, they would seem to have a reasonable opportunity against any of the potential No. 1 seeds – at least, based on the way they played in a narrow loss to Duke on Nov. 30 and a reasonably close game with Connecticut on Feb. 4.


*Texas A&M ended any remaining doubts about its NCAA Tournament at-large worthiness with its 86-33 thumping of Colorado Friday, its eighth win in a row.


Any Buffaloes’ followers who were holding out hopes for an NCAA bid were welcomed back to reality in Dallas. Get fired up for that NIT bid, folks.


*Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar, in an effort to give Pac 10 Player of the Year Brandon Roy a little rest over what shaped up as a potential three-day haul, removed Roy from the Huskies’ quarterfinal game with Oregon Thursday night in Los Angeles with 13 minutes to go and a 13-point lead.


But the time Roy could be ushered back into the game, the Ducks had trimmed their deficit to five points and they’d gained the momentum they needed to pull off an 84-71 upset of the Huskies.


Roy finished with 30 points but didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates in an attempt to stem the Ducks’ rally.


*When what had been rumored all season – Arizona State coach Rob Evans’ firing – finally became official Friday, it meant that speculation will only heat up more intently that Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Lon Kruger (UNLV) and Randy Bennett (Saint Mary’s) are three of the most prominent possible replacements.



Inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame last April, Frank Burlison is’s national basketball expert and is also a columnist for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at Read more of Burlison’s pieces at

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