The Duke Blue Devils did something on Monday night that hadn’t happened since 1995, lose to NC State at home.
Coming into the game, Duke was 3-3 in conference play, and without the heart and soul of the program, head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils held a 12 point lead in the first half, and also were up by nine with six minutes to go, but lost the lead late in the game. Duke also had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but turned the ball over, resulting in the loss.
Duke was led by Luke Kennard, who had 20 points for the Blue Devils. Its no surprise that Duke’s lead faltered away in the second half, they shot 38 percent after halftime. NC State was carried by freshman Dennis Smith Jr. who dropped 32 points, in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The loss dropped Duke’s record to 3-4 in ACC play, with a road trip coming up, including a visit to Notre Dame, to take on the 14th ranked Fighting Irish. If there was ever a gut check time for Duke, this is it, not to mention, the game against arch-rival North Carolina looms in the distance, with the Tar Heels visiting Chapel Hill on February 9th. It seemed that Duke was back on the right track, after a big come from behind win against Miami on Saturday, but fell back with this loss to the Wolfpack.
Duke came into the season, ranked No.1 in the preseason top 25 poll, but almost nothing has gone according to plan since then. Whether it be Coach K not there, or the on-going drama with Grayson Allen, something has to change in K Ville. With the loss, the Blue Devils dropped to number 19 in the polls, which has people wondering, are we going to see the real Duke at any point the rest of the season?