Local News

Physical, Emotional Health Important to Tournament Success

Posted March 17, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Duke is getting ready for the South regional on Friday in St. Petersburg, Florida. March is the time when basketball teams want good physical health to succeed in the NCAA Tournament. A club also needs good emotional well being. The Duke Blue Devils believe they have both.

When Duke rallied to beat North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium, it meant the Blue Devils would finish February with a flourish. It also meant, the team would later discover, starting March at an emotional deficit.

"It took us a while to get refueled, says Duke guard Steve Wojciechowski. "I think everybody is doing well right now. Everyone is excited to play. You can really feel start to feel the NCAA Tournament."

Not only did Duke not play at an emotional peak in the ACC Tournament, the Blue Devils began the NCAA's with a mixed bag of feelings. There was the wanting to live up to the tradition of Duke, and the gnawing feeling that no one on this team had been to the sweet 16.

"At the end of the game, I went into the locker room," Coach Mike Krzyzewski says, "and I said, 'will you guys just smile', you know. We're in the sweet 16."

So Duke heads to St. Petersburg in a good emotional state. These players feel proud to have gone where no Duke team in four years has gone, and confident the emotional peak of February has returned.