DEVILLE: How do you like us now?

I can honestly say, going into last night's game, I thought LSU had a chance of beating the Duke Blue Devils

However, like a great many Tigers fans, there was a little voice in my head saying "a win would be nice, but I really don't think they can pull it off."


Call me a believer.


What LSU did Thursday night in Atlanta's Georgia Dome was something just short of a masterpiece. While the actual game wasn't all that pretty to watch (LSU missed 10 free throws and committed 15 turnovers), the contest proved to be so ugly it was beautiful.


Using a suffocating defensive effort, No. 4 seed LSU beat top-ranked Duke 62-54 to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1987.


The Tigers beat the No. 1 team in the country for only the third time in the program's history and the first time away from the Maravich Center. LSU beat No. 1 Kentucky 95-94 in 1978 and top-ranked Arizona 65-64 in 2002.


And this just wasn't any No. 1 team – this was the Duke Blue Devils.


Within the same building in which Les Miles' Tigers defeated college football's perennial giant Miami 40-3 in the Peach Bowl, John Brady's LSU squad topped the program synonymous with college basketball in the Blue Devils.


LSU owns a handful of Final Four appearances, have not been past the Sweet 16 in 19 years and hadn't even won a tournament in six years.


The Blue Devils have won three national titles, made nine straight Sweet 16 appearances and is coached by arguably the greatest coach in college basketball history. But no one has to point out the Blue Devils' credentials, they are pretty well-known.


You see in the tournament year in and year out where teams win games they shouldn't (i.e. Northwestern State over Iowa in the first round). The NCAA Tournament is filled with buzzer beaters (there were plenty of those Thursday night) and dramatic halfcourt shots that allow a lesser team to upset a giant.


But that was not the case Thursday in Atlanta.


Not only did LSU beat Duke, they outhustled, outplayed and even outcoached the Blue Devils dominating every aspect of the game. As stated above, I knew LSU could win the game if they played well, but no one thought John Brady would dominate half of fame coach Mike Krzyzewski from the bench the way he did. That is not a knock on Brady whatsoever, I mean we are talking about one of the game's all-time greatest coaches here.


But LSU's embattled coach, one who has been questioned more than O.J. Simpson on the witness stand for the past half-decade, outdueled the great coach K. Brady had his team motivated and believing they could win the game even when the stakes were down as Duke took a five point lead late in the second half.


Brady's approach to defending the Blue Devils was unparalleled as Duke had no answer for the Tigers aggressive play. The Devils, who live and die by the three-point shot, met opposition every time they took a shot and were hardly able to score transition, something they thrive on.


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