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West Region: Another title run for Duke?

Defending champion Duke will try to hold onto their title in a group that includes underdog San Diego State and Big East champ UConn.

Which Duke team shows up? The one that got blown out of the gym in Chapel Hill, or the one that made those same Tar Heels look like high schoolers last Sunday?

The Blue Devils (30-4) entered the season as favorites to repeat as national champs. After all, they had senior leaders Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler both returning. Plus, they were adding freshman sensation Kyrie Irving.

But Duke lost Irving for the season. Then, they saw Florida State snap their 25-game winning streak. All was not right in Durham — until last weekend.

Not only did they beat UNC convincingly to take the ACC tournament title, they also received news that Irving might return.

Duke appears to be peaking at the right time. Which is a good thing, with potential matchups vs. Texas, Arizona, San Diego St. looming.

Inside the bracket

» Best matchup
Michigan vs. Tennessee. If you like great guard play, then buckle up. This could turn into a shootout.

» Most vulnerable
UConn. Assuming they beat Bucknell, they’ll get Cincy or Mizzou. Remember, the Huskies just played five games in five days.

»The pick: Arizona
Wildcats are young and inexperienced, but that’s exactly what we like in March. They won’t overthink it.

 
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