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Duke vs. Every Champion Since 1985

We simulated Duke vs. every NCAA basketball champion since the tournament expanded to 64 teams

WhatIfSports.com
April 7, 2015

Using our college basketball simulation engine, we placed Duke in a round-robin tournament featuring every national champion since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Every team in our round robin tournament played every other team 51 times. The simulation generated each team's winning percentage (Win %) and average points per game (Avg. PPG).

To simulate these games or any other theoretical matchups of your choosing, try the WhatIfSports.com college basketball SimMatchup tool.

2015 Duke vs. Every Champion Since 1985
RankTeamWin %Avg. PPGSim vs. 2015 Duke
12000-01 Duke Blue Devils91.096.2SimMatchup >
21995-96 Kentucky Wildcats84.594.3SimMatchup >
32004-05 North Carolina Tar Heels82.293.9SimMatchup >
41989-90 UNLV Runnin' Rebels75.594.9SimMatchup >
52007-08 Kansas Jayhawks64.183.9SimMatchup >
61997-98 Kentucky Wildcats63.283.8SimMatchup >
71991-92 Duke Blue Devils62.692.5SimMatchup >
82008-09 North Carolina Tar Heels60.091.1SimMatchup >
92001-02 Maryland Terrapins59.988.3SimMatchup >
102003-04 Connecticut Huskies59.181.5SimMatchup >
111994-95 UCLA Bruins56.490.7SimMatchup >
121992-93 North Carolina Tar Heels55.888.2SimMatchup >
132006-07 Florida Gators55.684.5SimMatchup >
141993-94 Arkansas Razorbacks54.492.3SimMatchup >
152005-06 Florida Gators51.683.2SimMatchup >
162012-13 Louisville Cardinals49.678.2SimMatchup >
171988-89 Michigan Wolverines48.090.0SimMatchup >
182011-12 Kentucky Wildcats46.377.3SimMatchup >
191998-99 Connecticut Huskies46.083.1SimMatchup >
201985-86 Louisville Cardinals45.388.4SimMatchup >
211990-91 Duke Blue Devils43.689.1SimMatchup >
222014-15 Duke Blue Devils43.282.6National Champs!
231999-00 Michigan State Spartans42.182.1SimMatchup >
242009-10 Duke Blue Devils40.481.7SimMatchup >
252002-03 Syracuse Orange34.181.9SimMatchup >
261986-87 Indiana Hoosiers32.086.3SimMatchup >
272013-14 Connecticut Huskies25.274.4SimMatchup >
282010-11 Connecticut Huskies24.574.5SimMatchup >
291996-97 Arizona Wildcats22.384.5SimMatchup >
301984-85 Villanova Wildcats19.078.3SimMatchup >
311987-88 Kansas Jayhawks12.479.8SimMatchup >

With 13:23 remaining, Duke's title hopes were in peril. The team trailed 48-39 and star big man Jahlil Okafor was saddled with foul trouble. An unlikely hero, Grayson Allen, stepped up to score Duke's next seven points. From there, Tyus Jones took over, with a fresh Okafor chipping in down the stretch. Duke outscored Wisconsin by 14 points over the final 13 minutes to prevail 68-63.

The championship is the school's fifth, all since 1991. Though John Calipari and Kentucky are credited with leading the one-and-done youth movement, Duke has also embraced the strategy. Of the Blue Devils' 68 points, 60 were scored by freshmen. Okafor, Jones and Justise Winslow are expected to go pro, with only Allen likely to return for a sophomore year.

Before the team disbands for the offseason, we have one more challenge. Using our college basketball simulation engine, we placed the 2014-15 Blue Devils into a round-robin tournament featuring every national champion since 1985.

Duke finished 22nd out of 31 participants, winning 43.2 percent of games in the tournament.

Top honors went to another Mike Krzyzewski-led Duke squad, the 2001 NCAA tournament champions. That team, featuring Jay Williams, Shane Battier, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy, is perennially the team to beat in our national championship power rankings.

We also simulated a second tournament featuring each of Duke's national championship teams, again with each team playing the rest of the field 51 times.

2015 Duke vs. 1991, 1992, 2001 and 2010 Duke
RankTeamWin %Avg. PPGSim vs. 2015 Duke
12000-01 Duke Blue Devils94.197.7SimMatchup >
21991-92 Duke Blue Devils52.293.0SimMatchup >
31990-91 Duke Blue Devils38.290.4SimMatchup >
42014-15 Duke Blue Devils33.384.9National Champs!
52009-10 Duke Blue Devils32.183.8SimMatchup >

The 2000-01 Blue Devils were again the team to beat in our all-Duke simulation, as they dominated the field with a 94.1 winning percentage. This year's group won a third of its games, just edging out the 2009-10 team for fourth place in the tournament.

Are you interested in creating your own all-time NCAA tournament dream team? Check out our NCAA Basketball Dream Teams feature and start loading up your roster with guys like Duke's Christian Laettner, Indiana's Isiah Thomas, Georgetown's Patrick Ewing and North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough. Then simulate your roster against other dream teams or any NCAA basketball program past or present. Best of all, it's FREE!

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Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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