There is a reason teams don’t go undefeated in college basketball very often.
It’s difficult to put forth your best effort game in and game out, especially when you’re playing such a wide variety of opponents, all of whom have scouted your every weakness and how to exploit it. Oh yeah, it also doesn’t help having that shiny No. 1 rank sitting next to your name, either. Coach K and Co, nearly halfway through an undefeated season, will face their toughest of variables tomorrow: their first true road game.
The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (15-0, 2-0) are about 14 hours away from playing the No. 20 North Carolina State Wolfpack (13-2, 2-0), a highly-talented team with a highly-talented coach with the benefit of playing in their highly-audible PNC Arena. The Wolfpack are so talented that, at the beginning of the season, they were just about everyone’s pick to win the ACC. They haven’t looked as good as we all believed they would, but they’ve still come out of the gates strong with a 12-2 record, with their two losses being a close loss to Michigan IN Michigan and a 20-point blowout loss to an Oklahoma State team that has turned out to be pretty darn competent.
So, we have the No. 1 team heading into a hostile environment to take on an underachieving, but still very dangerous, Wolfpack squad without Ryan Kelly, one of their key contributors. Naturally, everyone is crying ‘upset’.
So, rankings aside, what do you think: is a Kelly-less Duke team losing to the preseason ACC favorite NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh really much of an upset?