Duke basketball sees season unofficially end in loss to Notre Dame

Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /

443. 89. 434. Final. 93

Duke basketball season unofficially came to an end with a loss to Notre Dame. 

If you were still holding out hope that the Duke basketball team could make a run to the NCAA Tournament before Tuesday afternoon, well you certainly shouldn’t still be a believer on Tuesday evening.

The only chance the Blue Devils (7-8, 5-6 ACC) have at dancing this March is winning the ACC Tournament and earning the automatic bid into March Madness.

Duke suffered its third straight loss, this time at the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-10, 5-7 ACC), 93-89.

It was almost a microcosm of the entire season as the Blue Devils came out on fire, racing out to a 15-point first-half lead, but the Irish slowly began to chip away, cutting the deficit to five at halftime and trading baskets with Duke in the second half.

Notre Dame always felt in a better position to win than the Blue Devils did in the second half because Duke couldn’t get a stop. And when Mike Krzyzewski’s squad finally got the stop it needed, it would turn the ball over on the offensive end.

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Mike Brey only played seven players in the victory. All scored at least seven points while every player in the Irish’s starting lineup reached double-figures.

Cormac Ryan set a new career-high with 21 points, in the first half alone, and finished his outing with 28.

For the second straight game, the Duke offensive output was fine. The Blue Devils scored 89 points.

The only player who didn’t play well on offense was Joey Baker, who continued his struggles in clutch situations with another missed three-pointer in crunch time as he was 1-of-5 from the floor.

Jalen Johnson, who at times has looked uninterested, seems to have been benched. The five-star freshman came off the bench for the second straight time and was limited to 15 minutes in the loss.

Wendell Moore led the Blue Devils with a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Duke basketball continues to make history with each loss

Falling below .500 in February, it is the first time the Blue Devils have posted a sub-.500 record in the month since 1995 and the first time they are below .500 since 1999.

And to top it all off, things don’t seem to be getting any better.

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The next time Duke plays at home is against No. 9 Virginia, and it has back-to-back road games against North Carolina State and Wake Forest looming.

The Blue Devils make the trip to Raleigh on Saturday, February 13, with tipoff scheduled for 4:00pm EST (ESPN).

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