Given the run I’m on in 2010 – only in its 10th day! — I hesitate to say anything. But it’s my nature to tell you folks what I expect to happen, and here’s what I expect:
I expect Georgia Tech to play well.
I’m not predicting a GT victory. (As we know, that would guarantee a GT loss.) But any good team that has had to endure the criticism – much of it from this correspondent – after losing to Georgia is all but duty-bound to give a stirring account of itself in its next game. Even if that game happens to be against a team ranked No. 5 in the nation.
Duke is the anti-Tech: Not outrageously gifted but outrageously sound. Its coach is the second-best ever. (Ron Jirsa being the unchallenged No. 1.) But Duke isn’t going to overwhelm the Jackets physically, and they’re past due to play well. And if they’re going to post a victory that will grab the nation’s attention, today’s the day.
But I have, as you also doubtless know, felt that way before. And Tech has won but two of its past 26 games against the minions of K. (The exceptions: At Cameron Indoor Stadium in March 2004, a game that presaged the Jackets’ surge to the Final four, and in January 2007 here.)
I’m here at the Thrillerdome, and already I wonder about the crowd. I saw bunch of folks in blue queued outside. And it is cold outside. But the roads — at least I-75 and 10th Street — are fine. Sidewalks along 10th are still snow-covered, so watch your step. But I’d think if a Tech fan had a hankering to catch just one game this season, the Duke tilt would be it.
Not that I’m in the business of selling tickets. That’s Dan Radakovich’s task, and I see him as I type. And he’s not wearing blue.
With that, I’ll turn it over to Willie Martinez and Sonny Clusters and anyone else who cares to join our shenanigans. And just remember: If Tech wins, I didn’t exactly tell you so. But I did kind of float the balloon.