Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Fall In Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, VA - FEBRUARY 26: Grayson Allen /

Virginia Tech never stopped fighting in there 64-63 win in the last seconds over Duke. The Blue Devils led early on but could never establish a real lead in the second half. It was Dukes last game before senior night in Cameron on Saturday for the rematch with North Carolina.

Let me get out in front of this by saying that the game was an awful watch. From the actual basketball to Dan Dakich calling Marvin Bagley III a selfish player to the horrific officiating. An absolute struggle of a watch.

The Blue Devils reverted back to their old ways on Monday night with lazy defense, stagnant offense and little to zero will to win. It was about as discouraging as it gets going from what we came from Bagley was out, and even on Saturday against Syracuse, on the defensive end. There was too much standing around in the zone and not enough plays made. Guys were waiting and reacting instead of forcing Virginia Tech to make the plays.

The offense was a whole other story. Duke would constantly hold the play to try and milk the clock but their offense isn’t good enough to make that happen. The Blue Devils don’t have a player that can create and get you a bucket in those circumstances. The Hokies did a good job of bottling up Bagley (12 points on 7 shots) and while Grayson Allen led Duke with 22 points, he was 6-18 from the field and 4-15 from three. He couldn’t get anything on the drive, the drive and dish wasn’t working and the rest of the Duke starting lineup only contributed 14 points. 18 turnovers shouldn’t happen. It was the turnovers that lost them the game in the end.

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Something I would’ve liked to see more of was the high low between Wendell Carter and Bagley. It’s worked all season and even worked a bit in tonights game. Duke has a real deficiency when it comes to making the entry pass. Outside of Allen and Carter, there really isn’t anyone on the team that can make an efficient entry pass. We saw numerous passes sail over the receivers head or get intercepted. When Duke needs a bucket they should go to that.

The end of the game was a mess. There was a non call on Carter. Bagley made a dumb decision to give the ball to Trevon Duval (a 61% free throw shooter) when Virginia Tech needed to foul and he missed the front end of a one and one that could have given Duke a two or three point lead.

The officiating was lackluster. There were way too many touch fouls and the non call at the end where Carter was held would have even been called by NFL refs. It was that obvious and somehow, right in front of an official, it wasn’t called.

I don’t know where we go from here. I’m not sure if this is an outlier for this supposed new Duke team. Maybe there wasn’t as much focus being that senior night in Cameron is Saturday which is also the rematch with North Carolina. Maybe Duke has reverted back to its old ways. Whatever the case, Duke needs to throw this game tape out and watch the previous five games and get back to what we had been waiting for all season.