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AP: Duke Suddenly Playing Favorites' Role in Final Four
Thursday 03/31/2010  -  Associated Press
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Courtesy: Associated Press
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DURHAM, N.C. – After an NCAA Tournament full of stunning upsets, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked about the diversity of the Final Four field.

Krzyzewski, who will coach in his 11th Final Four, isn't surprised to see new teams or a pair of No. 5 seeds joining Duke in Indianapolis.

Duke is the lone No. 1 seed that will travel to Indianapolis for the Final Four. Saturday evening's first semifinal at 6:07 p.m. EDT will match the No. 5 seeds, Michigan State and Butler.

Butler is the underdog, hometown favorite from a less prominent mid-major conference making its first Final Four trip. Michigan State advanced through the Midwest Region without having to play No. 1 overall seed Kansas, which was shocked in the second round by another mid-major team, Northern Iowa.

West Virginia, Duke's opponent in a game scheduled to tip off at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, was a No. 2 seed and the Big East tournament champion. It upset a talented but inexperienced Kentucky team in the East Regional final. The Mountaineers are making their first Final Four appearance in 51 years.

"There just isn't the difference that there was, especially a decade ago, with some of the top, historic programs ... and the emerging programs," Krzyzewski said Monday during a telephone conference the Final Four coaches held with the media. "Teams from the non-traditional big conferences, I mean, there's just a lot of good basketball teams right now. You can get beat by a lot of people. I guess that's what the tournament has shown."

Check out the full story at the newsobserver.com.
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