Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Villanova/Duke Rivalry History - December 10, 1997 - Top-Ranked Blue Devils Crush Wildcats at Cameron, 94-66

To the Villanova Wildcats faithful-

This week - in addition to previewing the Sweet 16 contest between the Villanova Wildcats and the Duke Blue Devils - I'll be looking back at the ten previous games in which Villanova has met Duke.

Other entries in the Villanova/Duke Rivalry History -

You can read about the November 14, 2000, Preseason NIT meeting at Cameron Indoor Stadium...

You can read about Duke destroying the CoreStates Center debut on December 14, 1996...

The Wildcats had scheduled a home-and-home series with Duke, and the Blue Devils had made the trip to the then-CoreStates Center the previous season, during the 1997-98 season, described in the link above.

The following year, when Villanova had to go to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the return game, it was ugly. It would be the first time Villanova had played at Cameron since 1958 (since the other games with Duke since then, had been in the NCAA tournament). But the Wildcats had lost Jason Lawson, Alvin Williams, and Tim Thomas to the NBA, and were hopelessly overmatched.

On December 10, 1997, the top-ranked Blue Devils easily annihilated the Wildcats at Cameron, 94-66. Wildcat players who rounded out the lineup in both Duke games in that home-and-home series included Malik Allen, Brian Lynch, T.J. Caouette, John Celestand, Howard Brown, Rafal Bigus, Jermaine Medley, and Zeffy Penn.

According to the Duke Chronicle, with the headline of No. 1 Duke adds 'Cats to list of victims, 94-66....

Last year when the men's basketball team beat Villanova, it was a big upset. This year, it was a big bore.

Six players scored in double digits as the Blue Devils did as was expected, dismantling the Wildcats 94-66 in Cameron Indoor Stadium Wednesday night. Duke (9-0) won the opening tip, took a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Villanova (2-3) played a strong second half, but by that point, the game was lost.

Tough Duke defense in the first half forced 14 Villanova turnovers for 17 Duke points and limited the Wildcats to 37 percent shooting from the floor, helping the Blue Devils take a 52-26 lead into the locker room...

[Elton] Brand contributed six rebounds, four blocks and a team-high 15 points, while Shane Battier added seven boards of his own. As a team, the Blue Devils rebounded evenly with the Wildcats, but Duke struggled in trying to contain the 6-foot-10 forward [Malik] Allen.

Allen had 17 points and 16 rebounds on the game, and particularly hurt Duke in the second half, when the Blue Devils only outscored Villanova by two points. The Wildcats racked up 15 offensive boards and forced 10 Duke turnovers in the half...


It was a rebuilding year for Villanova, which finished with a losing record, and missed postseason play completely, for the first time in five seasons. (The Wildcats have not had a losing record or missed both the NCAA and NIT, since then.)

For Duke, it was a far different story. The Blue Devils were the top seed in the South Region, and went to the Elite Eight. They continued their memorable rivalry with Kentucky by being unable to hold a large lead against those Wildcats, falling 86-84.

Check back for more posts, both on the history of Villanova/Duke, and a comprehensive preview of Thursday's Sweet 16 contest, scheduled for around 10 PM in Boston...

You can also take a look at the Various Viewpoints on the right sidebar, for their takes...

Go Wildcats!

There are two ways you can contact Villanova Viewpoint. One is by commenting on this blog. Comments are encouraged. Also, you can e-mail (Important note: This is a different e-mail address than before. Please use this new one.)

No comments: