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Whoopty-Duke: Partial Refs Taint Glorious Run

Last night, the Duke Blue Devils learned just what it feels like to win it all. In a somewhat dull championship game, Duke was in control virtually the entire second half.

A national championship is rare enough. But Duke's win capped an even more impressive four-year stretch of consecutive ACC titles and #1 seeds. Championships are won every year. Domination on that level, year after year occurs once every John Wooden.

Oddly enough, Duke players and their fans learned what it's like to be that good, that long, well before the game even ended.

That lesson occurred after a questionable foul call on Arizona late in the first half. That's when the supposedly neutral Minneapolis crowd spontaneously burst into a chorus of boos. The fans were railing against far more than just that one call. They finally began to express their resentment at a perception that referees have been unfairly favoring Duke all year, particularly in last Saturday's game against Maryland.

Justified in their actions or not, these spectators tought Duke loyalists a lesson which might last well beyond this memorable season.

In the words of Wilt Chamberlain, nobody roots for Goliath.

Especially when Goliath wins.

The most successful teams are often the most hated as well. It happens most often in the pros--see the Yankees--but occassionally appears in the college ranks as well. Notre Dame has been despised for years for its seemingly neverending football success. For years, Duke fans have been the ringleaders of the most popular fan club in college hoops ABCers: Anybody But Carolina.

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