Duke Basketball looked like they were on a roll coming into tonight’s matchup against the Wake forest Demon Deacons having won back to back games against Syracuse and Virginia Tech. However, both of those games took place in Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke is seemingly a much different basketball team than they are on the road.
After tonight’s loss to Wake Forest Duke is now 4-5 on the road in the ACC this season, a record that does not bode well for a team with Final Four aspirations. Like Duke’s other road losses this season Duke looked to be in charge most of the game before absolutely collapsing down the stretch. Duke was up 62-57 with about 7 minutes to go and then the improbable happened when Wake Forest went on a 17-0 run and never looked back.
For Blue Devil fans this was a very difficult game to watch. Unfortunately, this pattern of giving away games on the road is nothing new. The Blue Devils lost in a very similar manner to North Carolina two weeks ago as well as Notre Dame and Clemson very early in the season.
Seemingly all it takes for this team to collapse is for Jabari Parker or Rodney Hood to be in foul trouble. In all four of those for mentioned games either Parker or Hood had to manage foul trouble or in some cases both. Once one of those guys is forced to sit on the bench that is when the home team makes their run against Duke and puts them in their rear view mirror.
Making matters even worse for the Blue Devils is that they had to witness their 4th court storming of the season. It does say a lot about the program that Mike Krzyzewski has built that almost every time they are defeated on the road the opposing school’s student section feels the need to storm the court like a bunch of lunatics.
In the grand scheme of things this loss means almost nothing to Duke’s ACC chances with Virginia already winning the conference outright. This loss does however almost guarantee that Duke will not be a number one seed come NCAA tournament time.
In order to have any chance at being a number one seed Duke needs to obviously take care of business at home against North Carolina on Saturday. This is no easy task with North Carolina being one of the hottest teams in the country having won 12 games in a row. On top of beating North Carolina Duke will also have to win the ACC tournament by beating two of the other three premiere teams in the conference in Virginia, Syracuse and North Carolina.
There simply is no denying that this loss was a bad loss for the Duke Blue Devils. However, all hope is not lost, I would much rather the Blue Devils be upset this early in March instead of in a couple of weeks in the NCAA tournament.