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Ex-Bulldog Oliver awaits Duhon, No.1 Duke in NCAA ‘Big Dance’

A thorn in Farragut coach Donald Dodgen’s side for three years, Alex Oliver is now looking to cause a few headaches for Mike Krzyzewski.

Yes, that’s Duke Blue Devils basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

But to force a little “Coach K” anxiety during the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, Oliver may have to contain one of the nation’s premier college guards in All-American Chris Duhon.

Oliver, a former Bearden Bulldog All-state point guard, and his Alabama State University team (16-14 record) will be part of this season’s NCAA “March Madness,” going against mighty No. 1 seed Duke (27-5) Thursday in Raleigh, N.C. from the so-called Atlanta Region.

“Alex is their defensive stopper for perimeter guys,” said Oliver’s former coach, BHS boys head coach Mark Blevins. “He should be the guy that’s guarding Duhon on Thursday night.”

As for Blevins’ expert opinion on Duke’s guard play, “when they’re on they’re as good as anybody in the country, that’s for sure. That will be a very tough assignment.

“But we’re tickled to death, and he’s excited,” Blevins added about a conversation he had with Oliver after ASU qualified for the NCAA Tournament Saturday — but before the pairing with Duke was announced.

“They’ve gone on a double-digit consecutive win streak,” Blevins said about Alabama State’s late rise in Southwestern Athletic Confer-ence play to win the SWAC tournament.

A 2002 BHS graduate who led the Bulldogs to the 2002 Class AAA state semifinals — then had his No. 32 retired last month — Oliver is averaging 7.2 points per game in his sophomore season as a starter with the Montgomery, Ala. school.

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