Superbowl Sunday the stage was set for Duke to build off of the win at Virginia Tech, and not make the headlines leaving the front page for football. If Duke wins they disappear from the front page of ESPN.com, everyone expects a win at home. If you lose you become the second biggest story of the weekend in sports.
Duke took the hard road, playing one of its worse halves of basketball thisÂ year. Duke was neither tough nor focused. Miami was sharp and deliberate in their attack and Duke relented time and time again, defensively Duke was a sieve, allowing Miami to pound the ball inside to Reggie Johnson who looked like a world beater. The oft out of shape Center for the Hurricanes played like a first round NBA pick. Granted he hit tough shots against the Devils front court but Duke employed much more flopping defense than actual defense.Â Johnson finished the game with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Conversely Dukes bigs played weak and passive and seemed to fear pounding it inside against the Hurricanes big man. The kicker was seeing Reggie Johnson beat the entire Duke defense down the floor. It was just a pitiful half of basketball.
The second half was a different story for the most part, Duke began the second half with hiccups on both ends of the floor but as expected Duke went on a run. Fueled mostly by Austin Rivers and Seth Curry Duke seemed to finally appeared to be a little pissed off, they seemed in sync and played with a much more fervent attitude. Rivers finished the game with 20 points and Seth Curry added 22. No one else for Duke was in double figures.
Duke was able to force overtime, and with the momentum it looked like this could be a Duke victory. Duke explicably missed all 6 free throws in overtime. Shoot 1 out of 4 from 3, and overall 2 out of 7 from the floor.
As a fan I’m frustrated, I’ve never seen a team with as many talented players look so completely lost on the floor, and take so many plays off. I can only imagine the frustration that he coaching staff must be feeling. There is only so much knowledge K and crew can impart. Honestly there is little time for this team to make changes and make amends. At this moment in time its hard to even say that this team is the 3rd or 4th best team in the ACC. If you were to break down the body of work they maybe you make the case but assessing where this team is right now, there is no way. Teams seemingly are hitting their stride about now, the Devils are in the midst of a slump and luckily for the Devils this slump has not manifested itself too negatively in the loss column but with a surging Carolina team looming this week things could get very ugly.
Tweeting during the game I said that you can’t show heart in spurts, that is cardiac arrest. The Devils seemed to be in need of some sort of defibrillator to wake them into passionate play because currently there are little to no signs of life.