Five ACC foes who could cause Duke basketball problems next season

Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

There is cause for much optimism as Mike Krzyzewski welcomes another elite recruiting class; however, there are a handful of ACC teams that may test the mettle of such a young Duke basketball squad.

It is an undeniable truth that Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has had inimitable success in the ACC. Coach K has cut down the nets at the conclusion of 15 conference tournaments. He has led 12 different teams to regular-season championships (or shares thereof). Over the last decade, the Blue Devils are 132-46 in conference play, an average of 13.2 such wins per season.

ALSO READ: Six reasons Coach K may never retire

There are reasons for optimism that a Jordan Goldwire-captained Duke basketball team will finish atop the ACC next season. Duke catches Wake Forest home and away and, over the last 10 seasons, has lost just twice in 19 games to the Deacons (including last season’s devastating double-overtime loss in Winston Salem).

The Blue Devils also play Georgia Tech both home and away and are a perfect 11-0 since 2010-11 against the Yellow Jackets. Another home-and-away series against Pittsburgh is also likely to yield a pair of victories as the Blue Devils have dropped just one game in the last eight to the Panthers. Duke also hosts Boston College and has not suffered a defeat to the Eagles in the last eight games in Durham (13-1 overall during the past decade).

However, the Blue Devils have had their share of disappointments in conference play as well. In the last 10 years, Duke has not once finished atop the ACC standings. And the Blue Devils have just two conference tournament titles (2017 and 2019) in that same span. As always, in a deep and talented ACC, there will be a tumultuous path to a conference championship of any kind.

Duke’s 2020-21 conference slate includes notable obstacles. Potential pitfalls loom on the hoops horizon against different ACC opponents. So let’s look at five of the most worrisome foes…