The Duke basketball program was embarrassed against North Carolina State.
Teams lose basketball games. The Duke basketball program is no stranger to that. It’s common in the sport.
What is not common in the sport is the performance the No. 16 Blue Devils put forth on Wednesday night in Raleigh.
North Carolina State ran Duke (11-4, 2-2 ACC) off the floor, 84-60. It wasn’t that close.
The Wolfpack (12-4, 2-3 ACC) opened the game on a 20-2 run and saying it was like a Varsity vs. Junior Varsity game would be an insult to all Junior Varsity basketball teams around the country.
The only point of the game it looked like the Blue Devils would make a run was late in the first half when Duke made two consecutive baskets to cut its deficit to 12 points, 26-14, with 5:13 before halftime.
Kevin Keatts called a timeout to settle down his team but Dariq Whitehead still forced a steal and Kyle Filipowski missed a 3-pointer which would have cut the deficit to nine points as Jarkel Joiner drilled a 3-pointer on the following possession and a Terquavion Smith steal and triple would push the lead back to 18 points, 32-14, for NC State.
The game was over.
Duke basketball with more questions than answers
Duke’s best form of offense came from the free throw line but it couldn’t even do that correctly after only making 17-of-25 attempts.
The Wolfpack shot 47.1-percent from the field and 38.5-percent from 3-point range while adding 30 points off of 21 turnovers from the Blue Devils.
The 24-point margin of defeat was the most a ranked Duke team has ever lost against an unranked ACC opponent.
It marked the second consecutive true road game in which the Blue Devils were noncompetitive in after its 11-point loss against Wake Forest last week, however, the team was not missing two key contributors (Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively) to illness.
There might be a number next to Duke’s name signifying that the team is one of the 25 best in the country but make no mistake, the Blue Devils are no where close to a program deserving of a Top-25 ranking at this point in the season.
A lot of soul searching must be done among the Duke players and coaches before the Blue Devils take the floor on Saturday afternoon (1:00p.m., ACC Network) against Boston College (8-7, 2-2 ACC).