Duke basketball season pushed to the brink with third straight loss

Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball season is officially on the brink. 

Same story, different day for the Duke basketball team as the Blue Devils (5-5, 3-3 ACC) yet again failed to execute late-game situations against the Louisville Cardinals (10-3, 5-2 ACC) on Saturday afternoon.

For a spectator who had no rooting interest, Duke and Louisville provided a fun, competitive game where both teams traded blows until the final buzzer, as the Cardinals prevailed, 70-65.

However, if you were a fan of either team, it was a gut-punching reality of a ‘must-win’ game where both programs were looking to avoid three-game losing streaks.

The good news for the Blue Devils was that they didn’t dig a double-digit hole for themselves.

The bad news was everything else that plagued the team, was still there.

ALSO READ: Duke star fires back at critics after poor performances

A huge game from a star, little production from everyone else, foul trouble, and horrid play in the final two minutes.

On Tuesday night against Pittsburgh, it was Jalen Johnson who was the star that fouled out. And Saturday against Louisville, it was Matthew Hurt.

Hurt exited the game with 24 points and eight rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-off-5 shooting from three-point range.

DJ Steward was the only other Blue Devil in double figures with 13 points.

Johnson, after his amazing showing against the Panthers, wasn’t even on the floor in crunch time until Hurt fouled out.

Despite not having its sophomore forward, Duke still had the chance to take the lead or tie the game with open looks from Joey Baker and Steward that both missed.

Duke basketball now in precarious situation

With a .500 record, the Blue Devils were on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament by many bracketologists before Saturday’s game, and the loss clearly didn’t help Duke’s cause.

However, there are no ‘bad’ losses on the team’s resume and plenty of chances to play its way into the Field of 68 before Selection Sunday comes.

ALSO READ: Duke alum shows no signs of rust in COVID-19 return

There just haven’t been enough positives to build on for this team.

Duke isn’t a great squad, but the Blue Devils aren’t bad either. They are just a good team that needs to find a way to win games.

The next chance will be on Tuesday, January 26 against Georgia Tech (7-4, 3-1 ACC) in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Trending. Unlikely Duke basketball standout leads team to blowout victory. light