INSIDE THE MADNESS: Coach K's ring, Judd's good-luck wish
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has been sending a subtle message to his players about what's at stake in Indianapolis.
It's on his right ring finger.
The Hall of Famer has been wearing his 2010 NCAA championship ring during the tournament, won the last time the Blue Devils were in the Final Four. He said Friday it wasn't something he does very often and was ''a reminder to me and to our team of our ultimate goal.''
His players have noticed heading into Monday night's final against Wisconsin.
''Every practice, every game when we huddle up, Coach has the ring in the center,'' freshman Justise Winslow said Sunday. ''It's a constant reminder of what our goal is, serves as a great motivator every day to get better so one day we can reach our goal.''
Assistant coach Jon Scheyer was the senior leading scorer on that `10 title winner and has a ring, too. He just didn't bring it out this week.
''I've never really worn it,'' Scheyer said. ''It's in a safe place and I hardly ever take it out. ... I haven't brought it out as much as I should. Now that you mention it, I probably should do that once in a while.''
Will Ashley Judd become a Badger fan?
Probably not, but she's at least wishing them good luck going into Monday's national championship game.
Kentucky's most famous fan was at Sunday's game to watch the Wildcats lose a chance at a perfect season. She quickly fired out a tweet to Wisconsin's players, saying ''Get it done Monday night!!!''
Duke freshmen Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones are arguably the most famous package deal in college basketball history, best friends who committed to the Blue Devils together.
Now, they're preparing for what could be their final game.
Okafor will likely be one of the top two picks in June's NBA draft, and Jones is considered a first-round talent if he elects to leave early. That means Monday night's national championship game against Wisconsin could be the last time they share the floor.
''We haven't talked about it, if this is the last time we're going to play together,'' said Jones, who rooms with Okafor for road games. ''We're just focused on the next game.''
Many people think the two have been balling together for years, they are so inseparable. But the truth is, the year they've spent in Durham has been an aberration.
The two of them never played together in high school - Okafor played for Whitney Young in Chicago and Jones for Apple Valley High School, just south of Minneapolis. Nor did they play on the same AAU team - Okafor played for Mac Irvin Fire, Jones for the Howard Pulley Panthers.
So how did they become a package deal?
It was playing for USA Basketball that things clicked. The two became inseparable during a camp in 2010, and grew closer while helping the U-16 national team win the FIBA Americas title the following year. By 2012, while helping the U-17 team to an 8-0 record at the world championships in Lithuania, they began to think of playing together in college.
Now, after just one season at Duke, they might be splitting up again.
For more from inside the Final Four, visit The AP's Inside the Madness at collegebasketball.ap.org/insidethemadness.