News and Notes: Blueblood Edition

Remember when Nick Collison beat the Duke Blue Devils almost single-handedly in the Sweet 16 back in 2003? Yeah, so does the rest of Jayhawk Nation. Kansas squares off with Duke tonight for the first time since, in the championship game of the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational, and Phog.net is here with a few News and Notes on the match-up.

* Kansas earned a spot in the championship games by defeating Georgetown on Monday night, 67-63, and taking care of UCLA last night, 72-56. Duke first defeated Tennessee, 77-67, followed by Michigan, 73-61.

* This is a meeting of two members of college basketball's royal family. Duh. Kansas and Duke have accounted for two of the last four national championships. In the last five seasons, Kansas is the winningest program in the sport. Duke is third. Duke has four NCAA National Championships, while Kansas has three - and five total national national championships (including the 1922 and 1923 Helms Foundation titles).

* Elijah Johnson is coming off of what Kansas fans hope will be his career's breakout performance, after pumping in 23 points last night in the victory over UCLA. He's averaging 12 points per game this season and leads the team with eight three-point shots made through four games.

* Thomas Robinson has been the monster pretty much everyone expected him to be in the early season, averaging a double-double - 16 points and 11.3 rebounds. The junior power forward has, in fact, posted a double-double in each of the team's four games thus far.

* Tonight's game will mark the ninth time in the history of the two programs Duke and Kansas have met on the hardwood. In the past, when they have squared off it's usually been in games of great import. Duke defeated Kansas twice in 1985-1986 season, first in the championship of the Preseason NIT in Madison Square Garden and then later in the Final Four. The Jayhawks exacted revenge two years later, again in the Final Four, en route to the 1988 National Championship. Kansas won the last meeting 69-65, on the strength of a Herculean performance from Nick Collison, in the Sweet 16, March 27, 2003.

* The No. 6 Blue Devils are loaded with talent. Four Duke players scored in double-figures in Tuesday's victory over the Wolverines, led by super-freshman's Austin Rivers and his 20. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly each added 17, and Andre Dawkins added 14. They're particularly-deadly from beyond the arc, hitting an astonishing team average of 46.3-percent of their three-point shots thus far.


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