The No. 6-ranked Blue Devils, after struggling to beat unheralded Vermont by one point on Sunday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, play Alabama in the NIT Season-Tip Off semifinals tonight (9:30 p.m., ESPN).
A win at archrival North Carolina on Saturday (noon, ESPN2) would give the Blue Devils the outright ACC Coastal Division championship and a chance to play for the ACC championship. ... Duke has already assured itself of a share of the Coastal Division. To avoid all the messy tiebreakers, all of which the Blue Devils would lose because of those aforementioned losses to Pitt and Georgia Tech, Duke has to beat a UNC team (6-5, 4-3 in ACC) that has won its last five games in a row. .... No. 2 Florida State (11-0, 8-0 in ACC) would be Duke’s opponent in the ACC Championship Game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 7 (8 p.m., WTVD).
No. 2 Duke won all nine of its regular season games in 1941, beating Tennessee in front of 48,000 fans at what was then called Duke Stadium, now Wallace Wade Stadium. In those nine regular-season games, Duke outscored its opponents 311 to 41. As Ted Mann, Duke’s sports publicist at the time, said, “This team simply beat the hell out of everyone.”
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The North Carolina men’s soccer team had its season come to an end with a 1-0 setback at 12th-seed UC Irvine in the second round of the NCAA Tournament here Sunday.
Duke senior forward/midfielder Emmie Le Marchand wasn’t sure what hurt more — losing the NCAA field hockey championship game, or having to take off the Blue Devils uniform for the final time.
It might have felt like winter in the Fetzer Field icebox on Sunday, but it was all Summer in the scorebook as the Tar Heels stymied Texas A&M 2-0 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Playing without leading scorer Allisha Gray and starting point guard Latifah Coleman was no issue for No. 12 North Carolina Sunday as the Tar Heels ran past Coppin State 91-51 at Carmichael Arena.
“It’s as good as anything I’ve ever been through,” David Cutcliffe said. “That’s not understating anything else I’ve been through. Being part of this with so many exceptional people is rewarding. These are exceptional young men. Each one off these seniors I feel a deep affection for. That makes it even more rewarding.”
“Last season was disappointing in some ways, but if I sit back and look at it it was such a growing and learning experience for everyone,” said Duke coach Pam Bustin , whose fifth-ranked Blue Devils (17-6) will take on fourth-ranked Connecticut (20-4) for the national title at 4 p.m. today at Old Dominion University’s L.R. Hill Complex. “Because that’s where the work began, that’s where the belief began.”
Having won NIT Season Tip-Off games on consecutive nights last week, Duke faces Vermont in a nonconference game that’s not part of the tournament tonight (6:30 p.m. ESPNU).
The North Carolina A&T defense scored twice, on an interception and fumble recovery, in a 28-0 win over North Carolina Central on Saturday. A&T (7-4, 4-4 Mid-Eastern Conference) held North Carolina Central (5-7, 3-5) to 148 yards of total offense and just 35 yards passing.