2009: NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman wins a nearly $4 million judgment against former Duke co-captains Laettner and Brian Davis, who apparently slept through Coach K’s business ethics lectures. “During the past two years, they first denied they owed the money and then made false promises they would repay Shawne,” Merriman’s lawyer says after the ruling comes down in his client’s favor. It's not just Merriman who's likely felt the urge to stomp on the Blue Devils' chests. Among the others who've sued Laettner and Davis: a Duke law professor, ex-Duke captain and assistant coach Johnny Dawkins, and Scottie Pippen.
2010: After Duke’s national title win against the Butler, Nike publicly congratulated the Blue Devils with a full-page ad in Sports Illustrated. The simple slogan: “Order Has Been Restored.” The nation’s hatred, which understandably flagged a bit during the pitiful Paulus era, is instantly restored to Laettner-ian levels.
2012: The Duke Chronicle reports that the student section at Cameron Indoor has been reduced from 1,200 to 650 seats due to declining interest. “It does take a lot to go to K-Ville and wait outside, sometimes in the cold and in the rain, and then go into Cameron where you have to stand and jump up and down,” co-head line monitor Ellie Garrett tells the paper. Though standing upright hasn’t been a major problem for hominids since the Homo erectus era, let’s still credit the student body for finally realizing what the rest of us have known for decades: Duke basketball is a gigantic annoyance.
Hang Up and Listen host Josh Levin, college hoops stats maven Ken Pomeroy, and Basketball Prospectus and ESPN.com writer John Gasaway will be chatting with readers about March Madness this week: What are the best strategies for filling out your bracket? Which teams are likely upset victims? What stats are most predictive of NCAA Tournament success? Join them on Slate’s Facebook page at 1:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 14 to take part in the chat.
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