Why Duke Could Make A Surprise Run To The Final Four

The Duke Blue Devils were unranked for the first time in eight years, causing many to write this season off as one that will end with an early-round loss in the NCAA Tournament. However, that may not be the case. This Duke team has been resiliant all year, shown by their current four-game win streak and back-to-back wins over Louisville and Virginia. Here are three reasons why the Blue Devils could make a surprise run to the Final Four this March:

3) Amile Jefferson will be back

The two biggest weaknesses of this Duke team is their extremely short bench and lack of big men, but Amile Jefferson's inevitable return will help solve both of those issues. Jefferson, a senior captain, has been out since December, forcing the Blue Devils to play with essentially a six-man rotation with one true big man in Marshall Plumlee. There still isn't a date for Jefferson's return, but he is expected to return in the following weeks.

Having Jefferson back will help fix those depth issues while providing Duke with a legitimate scoring option on the post, yet it's his leadership that will be the most important come tournament time.

2) Brandon Ingram and Grayson Allen

There are maybe a handful of teams across the country that have the talent to match this capable duo. Allen is one of just five major conference players averaging over 20 points per game, while Ingram is projected to be the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft this summer. Both players are knockdown shooters from the three-point line and are excellent at attacking the rim, making both extremely tough to guard. Look for these two to become even bigger stars in the NCAA Tournament.

1) Coach K is still be best coach in the country

There are four names on the Mount Rushmore of college basketball coaches; John Wooden, Bob Knight, Dean Smith and Coach K. No modern-day coach mixes in-game adjustment, off-court motivational tactics and overall organizational efficiency with the grace and transparency that Coach K does. If you want to get a group of talented recruits to come together as a unstoppable machine, you can't do any better -- past or present -- than Mike Krzyzewski. It may have taken a little bit longer than we expected, but this unit is starting to play as well as anyone. 

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Related Topics: NCAA Basketball, College Basketball, Final Four, NCAA Tournament, Grayson Allen, Duke Blue Devils Basketball, Mike Krzyzewski, Brandon Ingram, Amile Jefferson