Like most of you, I didn't have Duke in my Final Four. In fact, the only Final Four team I picked correctly was West Virginia. The Mountaineers looked tough and imposing to me. The Blue Devils looked like the Blue Devils. I kept thinking of their lopsided road loss to Georgetown. Against an athletic team, they'd be too fragile and slow.
But when they had to be tough Sunday against the athletic Baylor Bears, they were. All the huge rebounds that enabled them to score decisive second-chance baskets were theirs.
They grabbed 23 offensive rebounds -- six more than Baylor. Lance Thomas grabbed eight offensive rebounds, Brian Zoubek four and Miles Plumlee -- I think it was Miles -- three.
The Blue Devils are unselfish, play superior defense and don't panic. Even when their best player, Kyle Singler, failed to hit even a single field goal Sunday, they didn't panic.
Duke did have the easiest path to the Final Four among the top seeds. But nobody gets to the Final Four without earning it.
Perhaps the surprise is that so many of us are surprised. Perhaps we should have seen this coming.