When the Maui Invitational Tournament bracket was released, the prospect of playing Duke in the championship round was enough to cause uncontrollable salivation. Once the Zags hit Maui, however, it looked like that opportunity was going to go missed.
Illinois harried the Zags all night long that oscillated wildly between a surefire win to an almost loss. You were probably not the first person to think, good thing they got that out of their system before the start of the Arizona game.
Last night was a tale of two halves. The Zags looked flat out abysmal during the first half of the game, marred by self-inflicted turnovers, missed three pointers, missed free throws, and a bevy of unwelcome whistles from the referees. Going into halftime, the Zags looked DOA. Then the second half occurred. Arizona went from full control of the game to absolutely shell shocked. The Zags outscored the Wildcats by 25 points in the second half to own a 91-74 win, a score that is as deceiving as possible.
Duke has had no such issues this tournament. Everyone tuning in to watch their high flying freshman have some fun had to be disappointed against San Diego State. Duke blew out the Aztecs so quickly and aggressively that Coach K pulled everyone well into the second half.
Against Auburn, the final score of 78-72 is also a trick of the mind. Duke took the lead and never looked back, and although the Tigers creeped in a couple of times, it seemed sort of inevitable that Auburn would lose.
Which brings us to the championship game. We have the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils taking on the No. 3 Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Zags, if they want to upset this monstrosity of freshman talent, we will need all hands on deck for the full 40 minutes—something that has happened for Gonzaga this tournament.
- Time: 2:00 pm PT
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: Gonzaga IMG Network
- Online: WatchESPN