First off, I apologize - this is coming 2 days too late...and many no longer care (if they cared to begin with) due to Lewan Muppets. Work has been extremely busy and we had a basketball game last night.
With that said, I got to visit Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time a couple days ago and wanted to share my thoughts on Duke after seeing them live. I was fortunate enough to see Michigan live in the Barclays Arena vs. West Virginia earlier this year.
Before I begin - yes, Cameron is everything you've heard...this isn't a brag post. It's a dump, it's awesome, there's history and lots of banners. The greatest high school experience ever.
Now to the game - it was awful...for those that watched. I'm sorry, it was painful. It was 2-0 Clemson at the first media timeout and Duke didn't score a point until 14:58 in the first half.
Nonetheless, with no rooting interest in the game I took to scouting Duke vs. what I've seen Michigan do this season.
Disclaimer - Ryan Kelly didn't return for the 2nd half of this game and he's not listed as "out indefinitely"...if he's out, this post his moot, Michigan is the better team.
Assuming Kelly would return before or during the NCAA Tournament, I'd say Michigan matches up quite well vs. the Blue Devils.
The biggest thing Duke has most teams don't is size at the forward positions. Those guys are long and can really defend. Inside at center Plumlee is a man, however he struggled vs. Booker who looked like a watered down version of Jordan Morgan.
At guard, they have Duke guards...nothing new. Guys who can knock down a timely 3, who play solid defense and are smart players.
However, from what I saw (and I'm giving them the benefits of the doubt that this was just a bad game...we'll have one too, hell, it may have been Nebraska, I haven't see that game yet) Duke is vulnerable. In a one game situation, they can beat anyone, but in a best of 7...I'd take Michigan in an easy 6.
Duke would be able to guard Michigan better than anyone, but we'd be able to guard Duke as well. We have the advantage at just about every position and Morgan would hold his own vs. Plumlee...not sure if anyone else on the team could.
The X factor in my mind is Mitch McGary. He matches Duke's effort - even surpasses it and that takes away a HUGE advantage they have. McGary would be a MAN vs. Duke, they literally have no one inside to rebound against him. It would be Hansborough-esqe (12 points, 14 rebs).
At point guard, Cook is nice...I think he'd be a good matchup for Burke, but again, Burke is just better - period.
In watching both teams, my only worry would be Stauskas defensively. He tends to help too far off his man and he'd probably get Stauskas'd a couple times because Duke finds that kick-out spot in the corner just as good as Nik does.
In the end, taking the bad game into the equation, Michigan is the #1 team in the nation right now. Duke's very good, they've been some great teams...but talent and execution wise, Michigan is #1. If/when we beat Ohio...I'd have no issue with voters agreeing and bumping Michigan up.