Duke basketball: ‘Nostradamus Dukie’ foretold regular season, now what?

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball fans seeking a glimpse of what lies ahead in the postseason have come to the right place, for evidence suggests a site expert here holds all the tarot cards this year.

On rare occasions, I like to project a touch of humility. Not today. No, the day following any Duke basketball win over North Carolina — the 89-76 sweeping celebration at home on Saturday night makes three in a row in the series and 34 of the past 52 — calls for Blue Devils everywhere to flex.

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So on that note, may my own horn-tooting begin…

Back on Nov. 4, much to the chagrin of those “40-0 dreamers” who deem that forecasting any loss by the Blue Devils is an unforgivable sin, I pried the tinted-blue goggles from my eyes in order to pen a 6,500-word article predicting the scores of every Duke basketball game this season while prophesizing the storylines for every contest (find the link at the bottom here).

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How did I do for the entire 2019-20 Duke basketball regular season? You tell me:

  • I pictured a 24-7 overall record, including a 15-5 ACC campaign. The Blue Devils finished 25-6, including a — you know it now, but nana-nana boo-boo, I evidently knew it way before you — 15-5 conference mark.
  • I reckoned a No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament; considering Duke wound up No. 4 but was tied for No. 2 in the standings, well, the average of four and two is three, so I’d tag that as essentially spot on.
  • I accurately — might I add incredibly and courageously — foretold of losses at Clemson, at home to Louisville, at N.C. State, and at Virginia (then had to fend off personal attacks from a few Dukies on Twitter, especially for that first one).
  • This means the only two losses I didn’t project were those to Stephen F. Austin and Wake Forest; had I done so, I’d have retired to Vegas, pronto.
  • Combining the scores I came up with, the points-per-game average that Duke allowed opponents was 67.0. The actual average? 68.0. I’ll no doubt view that — toot, toot — as a personal W as well.
  • Sure, I undershot Duke’s own points per game by 6.6 (who knew the Blue Devils would now rank second among 353 Division I teams at 82.5?). And throughout the piece, which painted a season-long narrative that altogether closely resembles the one that played out, I overestimated the scoring prowess of Matthew Hurt while underestimating a bit the point totals of Vernon Carey Jr., Tre Jones, and Cassius Stanley (naturally, I now demand praise for this self-deprecating admission of misjudgment).
  • My crystal ball that November day showed me a 73-70 win over Kansas (actual: 68-66). Other notable score-prophecies were an 82-66 win over Winthrop (actual: 83-70), a 79-66 win at Virginia Tech (actual: 77-63), a 76-55 win over Brown (actual: 75-50), an eight-point loss at Clemson (actual: seven points), a six-point win over Florida State (actual: five points), a three-point loss at Virginia (actual: two points), and an 18-point rematch win over N.C. State (actual: 19 points).
  • My Ouija board showed me overtime would be necessary to settle the first Duke-UNC meeting; granted, I predicted the Tar Heels would come out on top, 91-87, so in overcompensating for my biased heart, I must have denied the vision of the actual 98-96 miracle by the Blue Devils. That said, at least I wasn’t too far off in the margin of Duke’s victory in the second meeting (nine points to an actual 13).
  • My only other two misses were the Georgetown and Michigan State games. Yet I do deserve some credit for knowing the former would beat Texas to advance to that matchup in the first place and for giving the Blue Devils all they could handle, right? And maybe I ought to even pat myself on the back for at least getting the scoring margin correct against the Spartans (79-67 predicted loss compared to an 87-75 actual win).

Looking at all the above, I should look into erecting a paywall here just for such predictions next year; kidding, of course, for this site would never deny any segment of the Duke basketball masses all my unrivaled foresight and lessons in modesty.

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Oops, I forgot to unveil what happens next for these Blue Devils. Welp, I would have done that here, but you can blame those who scolded me for publishing the objective predictions in the first place — add “masterfully obnoxious grudge-holder” to my list of talents — because I’m now requiring that you click below to find out.

Besides, “Nostradamus Dukie” has done his duty. You’re welcome…

Predicted scores for every Duke basketball game this season. light. Related Story

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