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Duke Awarded No. 1 Seed in the South Region
Thursday 03/15/2010  -  Michael Tomko, GoDuke.com
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Coach K

DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke Blue Devils (29-5, 13-3), led by head coach Mike Krzyzewski, were awarded a No. 1 seed in the South Region by the NCAA selection committee Sunday night. It is Duke's 11th NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed, all under Coach K, and the ninth No. 1 seed in the last 13 tournaments.

The Blue Devils learned their fate for the NCAA Tournament shortly after capturing the ACC Championship in Greensboro with a 65-61 over Georgia Tech. With the win Duke earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. As an automatic bid the Blue Devils are 56-16.

"For our senior class I am so happy," Krzyzewski said. "Not many teams in my 30 years in the ACC have won both the regular season and the [ACC] Tournament, and I think because they did it, and we played such a tough schedule these kids were rewarded with a No. 1 seed."

Duke will face the winner of play-in game, which pits Arkansas-Pine Bluff against Winthrop. Those two schools kick off tournament play Tuesday night.

If Duke is able to advance to the second round they will take on the winner of eighth-seed California and ninth-seed Louisville on Sunday.

"We have a pretty tough bracket, but I think we are capable of beating anybody," senior captain Lance Thomas said. "As long as we play our game as far as defense, rebounding and just finishing, I think we will be fine against anybody."

The Blue Devils are winners of 12 of their last 13 games and will open up tournament play on Friday from Jacksonville, Fla. Duke is 4-2 in NCAA Tournament games in the state of Florida.

It is the 26th appearance for Duke in the NCAA Tournament under Coach K and the 34th appearance in school history. Duke is 13-5 all-time playing in the South Region of the bracket.

 The Blue Devils captured National Championships as No. 1 seeds in both 1992 and 2001 having a 37-8 record as the top seed in a region.

It is Duke's 15th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

"It is very rewarding [to be a top seed], but at the same time you just move on, no matter who you are playing, where you are playing, you know you need to be prepared," senior captain Jon Scheyer said.


 


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