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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Black Sunday?

Frank Dascenzo says don't worry about another Black Sunday.

But Dascenzo's comparing apples and oranges. Of course Duke and Carolina aren't going to lose to their first-round opponents. But while the infamous doubleheader in Reynolds Coliseum on March 11, 1979 were openers for the Devils and Heels, they were second-round games:

"All the ingredients were in place for the two ACC powers to advance to the NCAA Tournament East Regional Sweet 16 that was, conveniently, in Greensboro. Both earned a bye and seemed well-rested, although Duke was without forward Kenny Dennard and guard Bob Bender, both out with injuries."

Dascenzo goes on:

"Black Sunday happened not because the two ACC superpowers were overconfident but because Penn and St. John's were pretty good teams with quality players who simply weren't awed in the least by the environment of ACC country."

Look at the potential second-round opponents: For the Heels, we're talking Minnesota or Iowa State; for Duke, we're talking Stanford or Mississippi State. All teams from major conferences where the competition is hot. Is there any reason to believe they would be intimidated by playing in ACC country? (Yeah, I know we're talking about Charlotte.)

Iowa State could be considered the most dangerous of all. They started weak and finished weak, but had an incredible four-week stretch where they beat Oklahoma Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas. So the Cyclones definitely aren't afraid.

Another Black Sunday? Not impossible.