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Champions Bracket: 2001 Duke vs. 2005 North Carolina

Champions Bracket Round 2

1) 2001 – Duke Blue Devils (35-4)
PG – Jay Williams, So (21.6p, 3.3r, 6.1a)
F – Shane Battier, Sr (19.9p, 7.3r, 1.8a)
C – Carlos Boozer, So (13.3p, 6.5r, 1.3a)
G – Mike Dunleavy, So (12.6p, 5.7r, 2.6a)
G – Nate James, Sr (12.3p, 5.2r, 1.1a)
G – Chris Duhon, Fr (7.2p, 3.2r, 4.5a)
8) 2005 – North Carolina Tarheels (33-4)
C – Sean May, Jr (17.5p, 10.7r, 1.7a)
G – Rashad McCants, Jr (16.0p, 3.0r, 2.7a)
F – Jawad Williams, Sr (13.1p, 4.0r, 1.4a)
F – Marvin Williams, Fr (11.3p, 6.6r, 0.7a)
PG – Raymond Felton, Jr (12.9p, 4.3r, 6.9a)
G – Jackie Manuel, Sr (5.5p, 2.8r, 1.5a)
G – Melvin Scott, Sr (5.1p, 1.4r, 1.1a)

What a game this would be between two hated rivals, Duke and North Carolina. Duke had a dominant outside game in 2001 and while UNC could shoot it with the best of them their championship squad in 2005 was led by a great trio inside.

It’s an inside-outside battle and generally inside wins, but this 2001 Duke team was special because they just didn’t stop making their shots.

Carlos Boozer - Duke

Carlos Boozer – Duke

The general nature of an outside shooting team is that they are streaky. They’ll go through periods of a game where they’ll hit everything and then they’ll end up missing every shots they take whether they are contested or not. That is why almost always the dominant inside game beats the outside shooting team.

But Duke was far from a streaky team. Jay Williams and Shane Battier were legitimately the two best players in the country in 2001 and Mike Dunleavy still is a great three-point shooter. As the season went on Chris Duhon got more comfortable and hit shots from outside at a higher rate.

And it’s not like Duke could not contend inside. Carlos Boozer was a tough and physical center while wing Nate James was very good at driving inside. Now they probably wouldn’t be able to contend with the likes of Sean May, Jawad Williams and Marvin Williams.

With those three guys going inside the outside duo of Rashad McCants and Raymond Felton regularly faced favorable matchups when taking their shots.

This game would likely come down to the battle at point guard. Felton was the better pure floor-general while Williams was just an incredibly scorer and opened everybody up. Williams just wouldn’t be stopped by anybody on North Carolina’s team and when he got going Battier would be able to get going, Dunleavy and Duhon would get open and Boozer would roam free in an empty lane.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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