Kyrie Irving to Return for NCAA Tournament?

by March 16, 2011

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Your NCAA bracket might need an overhaul if reports that Kyrie Irving will return for Duke’s first round game are true. According to Jay Williams, former Duke point guard and ESPN analyst, Irving likely will return for the team’s game on Friday.

Irving, himself, has been a little more secretive on his status. After news broke on Tuesday night, he tweeted, “There’s still no guarantee…”

Considering Williams’ close ties with Mike Krzyzewski, it’s very likely that he has the inside scoop on this story. Williams later added on Twitter, “I think Coach K will play Kyrie Irving limited minutes but I am sure his presence will be a boost for the #BlueDevils.”

It’s easy to forget how good Irving and the Blue Devils were when he was in the lineup. Irving played in just eight games before injuring his toe. He averaged 17.4 ppg and 5.1 apg and was coming off his two highest scoring totals of the season before being injured. Meanwhile, there was legitimate conversation that Duke could go undefeated with Irving running the show.

Inserting Irving back into a lineup and not messing up the flow of a team that just won an ACC tournament title is a tough task, but Krzyzewski is one of the few coaches in the country that might be able to pull it off.