WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Duke will receive the attention-getter it might need after its worst effort of the season.
The No. 1 Blue Devils, upset with their lack of intensity and defense in an 82-55 victory over Lamar in their NCAA tournament opener, gets Kansas in the second round of the East Regional on Sunday.
"Any time you play a team with tradition, you're going to be up for it," Duke's Shane Battier said. "Just the fact that it says Kansas on their jerseys, there's no way you can take these guys lightly. No matter whatever people have been saying against them this year, they're still Kansas."
The eighth-seeded Jayhwaks (24-9) have been somewhat of a disappointment, and now start three freshmen in their revamped lineup. But the program Duke beat for the 1991 national title has a long and rich history of 29 NCAA appearances and will be anything but a pushover for the top-seeded Blue Devils (28-4).
"Kansas is a team coming off its best win," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the Jayhawks' 81-77 overtime win against DePaul on Friday night. "They've had a number of wins, but when you've down six points in overtime against a very talented DePaul team, to win that game through your defense, those are very, very gratifying wins. Those are big building wins. We are going to get them at their best."
The first game Sunday pits No. 5 seed Florida (25-7) against No. 4 seed Illinois (22-9). The Gators are coming off an emotional 69-68 overtime win against Butler as Mike Miller hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Krzyzewski said Saturday that Kansas is deeper than his team, moves the ball with efficiency and hits the glass well, which is one of his team's weaknesses.
He also is mystified why the Jayhawks landed a No. 8 seed.
"Somebody said, `What do you think about Kansas? Do you think they're an eight seed?"' Krzyzewski said. "I said, `Go splash your face, get a drink of water and we'll talk later. It's obvious you're not awake yet. We are just not ready for this conversation because I'm going to tell you that you're wrong."'
Kansas coach Roy Williams said he'll broach the subject with the NCAA selection committee this summer. But for now, he's trying to come up with a game plan to stop the nation's top scoring team that seems to hit you from every direction.
"I don't think it's right and there is nobody that can convince me that they can legitimize that seeding, but we can't do anything about it," Williams said. "It's time to start playing the games. I was disappointed and confused."
Kansas would like to wear down Duke with a deeper bench, but the Jayhawks also will have to extend their defense to cover a team that has averaged 25 3-point attempts over the last eight games.
"Stamina is not a problem," Williams said of Duke's short bench. "The timeouts are so long it's almost like taking a siesta. If we got the hot tub close enough we could all go in (it). Depth won't be a factor in one game unless somebody gets in foul trouble or gets hurt. If it was four games in four days I would like our chances."
While Williams said his team would have to play a perfect game to beat Duke, he's well aware Kansas has a chance. He speaks from experience. Twice since 1992 Kansas has been a No. 1 seed twice singe 1992, and been knocked out in the second round of the tourney.
Meanwhile, Illinois coach Lon Kruger downplayed a game against a school he coached to the Final Four in 1994, while Florida's Billy Donovan will be trying to get the Gators to the round of 16 for a second straight season.
"Our guys realize that (Friday) is over with. It was an emotionally draining game, but we've got to take the positives out of the game," Donovan said of the thrilling Butler win. "That game, like any type of emotional experience you go through throughout the course of your life with somebody, brings you closer together as a basketball team."
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