Duke basketball continues to impress as conference play looms

Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was an impressive non-conference season for the Duke basketball program. 

Saturday evening marked the end of the non-conference schedule for the Duke basketball program, and the No. 2 Blue Devils (10-1) now have their eyes set on a weak ACC.

After having to schedule two different opponents to close out its non-con slate, Duke ran Elon (3-9) out of Cameron Indoor Stadium, 87-56.

The victory was the third of the week for Mike Krzyzewski’s team after the program was previously coming off a scheduled two-week break.

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Duke won by a combined 97 points against South Carolina State, Appalachian State, and Elon. The trio of games does not exactly mimic Murderers’ Row, but it is still impressive to win three straight games by that margin in a short amount of time.

The Blue Devils were one second-half collapse against Ohio State — now ranked as the No. 14 team in the AP Poll — from being the No. 1 team in the country and entering conference play with an unbeaten record.

Trevor Keels led the way against the Phoenix with 19 points, and every player who stepped on the floor scored for the team.

Duke basketball looking to feast on weak ACC

If the non-conference schedule is any indication, the ACC is not a good conference this season and will be struggling to get teams — outside of Duke — into the NCAA Tournament this year.

The Blue Devils will lose games in the conference, as it is just the nature of the sport, but Duke should easily be the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament this season in Brooklyn.

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Duke has not won a share of the ACC regular season title since the 2009-10 season, and the last outright ACC regular season title was in 2005-06 for Mike Krzyzewski’s team.

Virginia Tech (8-4, 0-1 ACC) will open up Duke’s conference play at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, December 21 at 9:00 p.m. (ESPN2).

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