It didn't seem to bother the ninth-year coach that the Duke Blue Devils could be on the horizon for his team in the Big Dance.
"If you're going to go to a Final Four you've got to beat the No. 1 anyway unless you're the No. 1 seed," Brady said.
Brady will get his wish.
The 4th-seeded Tigers
(25-8) will meet No. 1 overall seed Duke (32-3) Thursday night in the Sweet 16
It will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two schools as the Blue Devils hold a commanding 5-1 advantage in the series. LSU's lone victory was a 105-95 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 20 1974. The last meeting between the two schools was a 96-67 Duke victory at the Maui Invitational on Dec. 22, 1992.
Duke reached the Sweet 16 by virtue
of a 70-54 win over the Southern Jaguars in the first round. The Blue Devils
knocked off George Washington 74-61 in the Round of 32. The Tigers knocked off
Heading into the NCAA Tournament,
several national experts predicted LSU and Duke to meet in the Sweet 16. The
general consensus is the Tigers have what it takes to solve the Duke equation,
something only three teams (
Below are Tiger Rag's matchups to watch in Thursday's game and our predictions for the LSU-Blue Devil clash en route to the Final Four.
J.J. Redick vs. Darrel Mitchell
While Mitchell has plenty of star-power, no one can compare to Redick in terms of flair. Redick (27.4 ppg, 41.2% 3-pt.) broke the NCAA record for made three-pointers in a career and became Duke and the ACC's all-time leading scorer this season. However, Mitchell is no slouch. A senior all-SEC pick for the Tigers, Mitchell (17.3 ppg, 41% 3-pt.) has made his share of big shots this season and as he proved throughout much of the SEC season, can take over a game from beyond the three-point line. It is likely Mitchell and Redick won't go head to head though. Redick will probably draw 6-5 guard Garrett Temple, the Tigers top defender. Mitchell will most likely be assigned to 6-1 Greg Paulus.
Shelden Williams vs. Glen Davis
Duke has played one of the toughest
schedules in the nation owning an 11-2 record against NCAA Tournament-bound
teams. However, it is likely the Blue Devils have gone up against a post player
as dominant as LSU's Glen Davis (18.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg). While
Sean Dockery vs. Tasmin Mitchell
The Blue Devils and Tigers are equal in star power with Redick, Mitchell, Davis and Williams. However, one position that could prove a major difference in the game is the three-guard spot. Sean Dockery (7.8 ppg, 41.3% 3-pt.) is a speedy guard that can shoot the three-point ball as well as anyone. But matched up against the Tigers 6-7, 230-pound Tasmin Mitchell could prove to be the game's biggest mismatch. Tasmin Mitchell (11.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is a swingman being able to handle the ball but bang down low as well. Look for the Devils to go the larger DeMarcus Nelson or Lee Melchionni to try and combat Tasmin Mitchell, who has the best pull-up jump shot from the perimeter for the Tigers.
Duke has its big two in Redick and
Williams and a sluice of role players, but the Blue Devils have no answer for
the 6-9, 215-pound Tyrus Thomas, who proves to be the most versatile player on
the floor. Thomas has what
There is no reason to believe LSU
can't win this game. The Tigers have all the components to be a championship team
with excellent guard play as well as depth and talent in the low post. LSU has
proved they do not get intimidated having won at
LSU 78, Duke 71