Shanoff's WUC: Duke-UNC, Vonn, Mock, Snow

Today's Calls: Duke vs. UNC, Lindsey Vonn vs. Vancouver, Derrick Rose vs. Stephen Curry, Nets vs. Snow, Derrick Morgan vs. Gerald McCoy, Drew Brees vs. his fans and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: This latest edition of Duke-UNC was kind of pathetic. ↵

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↵Despite that gaudy 4-loss record, Duke is hardly an elite team, as that shellacking at Georgetown showed. All signs point to yet another early March exit. ↵

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↵Undoubtedly to the chagrin of Duke fans who spend their time trying to fight taunting of the kind just displayed, beating UNC this season -- even in Chapel Hill -- doesn't even qualify as a "quality win." ↵

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↵Yes, it's still a "rivalry" win, but it's not like Duke fans will point to it and say "See? We ARE good!" ↵

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↵That's because the '09-10 edition of UNC is a joke -- if the name on the jersey wasn't "North Carolina," their 13-11 record would hardly qualify them for the NIT. Given last season's national title and this season's expectations, this team is a bigger flop than that Doherty debacle in '01-02. ↵

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↵And so some Duke fans might be a little miffed they won't get much credit for this win -- but you know they are even more thrilled at the state of UNC, however temporary. The one redeeming factor of Duke fans is that for all the "crazy," they are cynical enough to sincerely enjoy the schadenfreude: Any -- and every -- UNC loss is a Duke win. ↵

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↵By that metric, Duke's season is already a wild success. (That can lift Dukies when the standard March exit comes around.) ↵

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↵Lindsey Vonn: Ack! The Winter Olympics are already the red-headed step-child of quadrennial sports events. First, no snow on the mountain ... now, the marquee U.S. headliner -- perhaps the biggest headliner in the world in Vancouver -- is injured and may or may not be able to fulfill her massively hyped Olympic potential. She was the U.S. entry point with casual fans -- here's hoping she can recover in time. ↵

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↵More CBB: Northwestern Dancewagon ... ugh. The team could afford to lose 2 -- maybe 3 -- in February after a brutal January schedule, but a loss at Iowa wasn't considered to be one of those mulligans. Ouch. ↵

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↵NFL Mock Draft: Suh, Morgan, McCoy going 1-2-3 at the top, with the Skins finding their franchise QB in Sam Bradford at No. 4. At least that's how SN's latest mock sees it. ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: If you had to slot the Lakers without Kobe in an NBA Power Rankings, would they still be Top 5? That's the way they have been playing in the three games Kobe has missed, including last night's win at Utah, where the Jazz had one of the Top 5 records in the NBA. ↵

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↵Trade talk: Not holding my breath that the Knicks, Wizards and Rockets will pull off this 3-way involving McGrady going to NYC (at least until his contract expires in April). ↵

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↵All-Star Update: Will Derrick Rose play with that banged-up hip? The ASG is a point guard's kind of game, and it would be a shame not to see him in the middle of it. ↵

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↵Stud: Stephen Curry, with his first career triple-double (36 pts, 13 ast, 10 reb). ↵

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↵I randomly turned on the Bucks-Nets game last night and was mesmerized by how few people were in the arena, due to snow and team quality. I was curious to see the reported -- reported -- total: 1,016. Hey, at least the Nets had a really good excuse. (At least they let the fans move as close to the court as they wanted.) ↵

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↵Tonight: Final two games before the All-Star break, and they're good ones -- Magic at Cavs, then Spurs at Nuggets. Orlando-Cleveland continues to be the odds-on favorite for the East finals pairing. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Nearly over! Spring training starts ... next week. McNeal has a good roundup of the leading story lines heading into spring. ↵

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↵I love this story line of the Nats beat writer whose newspaper sports section folded. He asked his blog readers to pay his way to spring training to cover the team -- and they did. That guy owes every donor a lot more than 24/7 comprehensive coverage -- he owes them each individual thank-you notes, at the very least. I think he should hold a daily conference call with them. ↵

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↵(Wouldn't it be ironic if the team didn't issue him a media credential because he was a "blogger?" Actually, the bigger irony would be if he just went to Vegas to gamble the money, but filed "reports" -- Ronald Reagan-style -- by reading stories on the Internet.) ↵

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↵More Olympics: Olympic hockey might be hockey at its best ... particularly given the pressure that Canada is under to win gold. The entire undercurrent of pressure to win for Canada is fascinating. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "One! Two! Win one! (For you!) Three! Four! Win! (Some more!) Five! Six! Win! (For Kicks!) Seven! Eight! Win! (That's Great!) Nine! Ten! Win! (Again!) -- Drew Brees walks into a bar. ... ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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