Duke Blue Devils news: Mike Elko honored, new rankings unveiled, more

Duke Bleu Devils football head coach Mike Elko (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Bleu Devils football head coach Mike Elko (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

There is a lot to be happy about with the Duke Blue Devils as the holiday season rolls around in Durham and the games become bigger and more important in the Bull City.

Duke football head coach Mike Elko was presented with his ACC Coach of the Year Award during the men’s basketball game against Boston College on Saturday afternoon.

Elko, in his first year with the Blue Devils, has guided the program to its first bowl game since 2018 while posting an impressive 8-4 record after Duke had only won a total of five games over the last two seasons.

David Cutcliffe (2012, 2013) was the last Duke Blue Devils football head coach to be named as the conference’s Coach of the Year.

The Blue Devils will play Central Florida in the Military Bowl on Wednesday, December 28.

More Duke Blue Devils news

The Duke men’s basketball team (8-2, 1-0 ACC) jumped up to No. 15 in Monday’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll after spending the week at No. 17 and picking up victories over No. 25 Ohio State and Boston College.

Jon Scheyer’s team also debuted at No. 17 in Monday’s inaugural NET rankings, which will update every morning until Selection Sunday.

The Duke women’s basketball team (8-1) was not included in this week’s AP Top-25 Poll, although the Blue Devils did receive votes to be included, however, the program was also slotted at No. 17 in the NET rankings.

ACC Basketball News

The North Carolina Tar Heels were not included in the men’s AP Top-25 Poll this week after losing its fourth consecutive game on Sunday afternoon to the Virginia Tech Hokies, 80-72.

North Carolina, ranked No. 1 in the Preseason AP Top-25, became the fastest preseason No. 1 team ever to completely drop out of the rankings.

The Tar Heels went from the top spot to unranked in just five weeks while it took Michigan State 15 weeks to drop out of the poll during the 2019-20 season.

The Virginia Cavaliers, No. 3, remain the only other ACC team ranked in the Top-25 besides Duke.

College Basketball News

Monday was a quiet night around the college basketball scene but one game began to make headlines late as the No. 18 Gonzaga Bulldogs struggled with Kent State.

Gonzaga, which has now trailed in the second half in four straight games, were able to use an 11-0 run in the final 3:18 to put away the Golden Flashes, 73-66.

Kent State has been a very tough mid-major program this season after they held then-No. 2 Houston to just 49 points in the Cougars’ five point victory two weeks ago, but there has to be quite a bit of concern for the ‘Zags given their play recently.