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By Mike Walsh

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in All Journal Student Writing Project

‘Tis the season for the start of college basketball, or should I say ‘tis the season for the Duke Blue Devils to climb to the top of the polls. The Blue Devils have found themselves atop the polls after Indiana lost this past Saturday 88-86 to Butler in overtime. With the Blue Devils moving to the top spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll, this past Monday, this marks the eleventh time in the past sixteen years the Blue Devils have ascended to the top spot in the polls. Duke has opened the season perfect, winning nine straight games, including three wins over previous teams ranked in the top five. Those teams were #2 Louisville, #3 Kentucky, and #4 Ohio State. Duke also has beaten Minnesota, which is currently ranked #13 in the Associated Press. Duke has been ranked number one for 123 weeks, which is the second most in NCAA history, only trailing UCLA who has been ranked number one for 134 weeks.

Mike Krzyzewski, arguably the best coach of all-time, has now led Duke to the number one ranking in either of the two polls in eighteen of the past twenty-eight seasons. Krzyzewski passed his mentor, Bob Knight, after winning career game #903. Krzyzewski was also recently named co-recipient of the 2012 USA Basketball Nation Coach of the Year award after leading the USA Men’s National Team to the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. Geno Auriemma, who also led the USA Women’s National Team to a gold medal, was the other recipient. The award is the fifth for Krzyzewski, who also received the honor in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. Krzyzewski is a huge part in why Duke finds itself near the top of the most storied College Basketball programs in history. If anyone had previously doubted my passion for Duke, I hope I made it more clear for you. I think its safe to say, “I bleed Royal Blue.”

With all that said, I would like to encourage everyone to get out and support your local sporting teams, and I would also like to wish everyone a safe and blessed New Year.

Mike Walsh is a senior at Fillmore Central High School. He is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its fourteenth year.

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