INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTVD) -- The most popular question I get asked by folks I meet around town is 'I know you're supposed to be impartial and all that, but you can tell me, who do you REALLY pull for?' That, or its variant, not so much a question: 'I know you'll tell me you're impartial, but I CAN TELL that you really pull for...'.
In either case - my response is that I like it best when everyone's doing well. I'm pumped to get to the Final Four period; which team happened to get me here is inconsequential.
What I do find myself doing is rooting for certain players and their storylines. That's how I am with Quinn Cook. Absent this Final Four appearance, he was going to (unfairly) become a historical footnote. The first 4-year Dukie since forever to never hang a banner. That wouldn't have been his fault by any stretch, but it would've been his name.
Thankfully for Quinn, and by extension, the Blue Devils, it's a moot point. Quinn captained a Final Four team. Quinn was the engine, in my opinion, of what turned out to be a Final Four team. A banner will be hung. What's left to be decided is how momentous that banner is.
Speaking as his team's representative in the limited media availability today, Cook spoke of feeling like a 'kid in a candy store' and trying to drink in every aspect of this trip to Indy. He, above anyone else on his team knows how difficult it is to get to this point. How many seasons can suddenly go awry, how tiny the margin is between being one of the Final Four and just one of the teams that never made it.
It was cool to see the smile on his face today (A tired smile. During a TBS 'dream sequence' interview during which he was asked to answer questions with his eyes closed, Quinn nearly dozed off). Mike Krzyzewski said his experience with this team is heightened by the fact that he's getting to enjoy Quinn's jubilation at making this far.
Guys like Jahlil, Justise and Tyus can speak about the thrill of making it this far, but there's no way they can fully appreciate the experience quite like what Quinn must be doing now. It's easy to root for Quinn Cook. It'll be easy to be happy for him if the Blue Devils manage to advance to Monday, Even easier to enjoy his exultation if Duke somehow takes home a title.