Truth be told, there were some comments from West Virginia players after that game in 2008. Joe Alexander talked about Duke being Duke and people treating the Mountaineers "like we're this mid-major school playing all these big schools and upsetting them.''
Mazzulla, also fed up with all the hype surrounding Duke, talked about the Blue Devils being a great team with a great coach. "But when you have the media coming up to you and constantly asking you about Duke's tradition ...'' Mazzulla said.
And, of course, he was right. He might have even used the "O'' word at some point. But be honest. That year the Blue Devils probably were overrated. It was a team that relied almost exclusively on the 3-point shot and didn't rebound worth a lick, yet Duke was a No. 2 seed.
But hey, none of that means a thing today, save for in the minds and writings of a few who want to make it an issue.
"We were a totally different team and they're a totally different team,'' West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "They were much smaller in Washington. They were really a 3-point shooting team. I think that's when they caught fire and really started playing well. They made a lot of 3s. We were so dependent on Joe Alexander to make plays for us and score the ball. So I think both teams are considerably different this time around.''
Still, Duke is the higher seed. The Blue Devils are favored, and the questions about Duke and its history keep coming, just as they did two years ago.
And so, if West Virginia wins, don't discount the very real possibility of another floor slapping, to which Mazzulla smiled ever so slightly.
"Depends on how the game goes,'' he said.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.