Duke basketball presented opportunity to prove 22-point loss was fluke

Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team has a chance to prove its 22-point loss was a fluke. 

There have been two non-competitive games from the Duke basketball team this season and perhaps the most disgusting was the 22-point loss on February 6 against the Miami Hurricanes.

However, the Blue Devils can prove that game was just a fluke on Friday night in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

Less than 36 hours after the ball was tipped in Coral Gables, Jon Scheyer’s team topped North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium, 63-57.

The victory over the Tar Heels was an emotional one for the Blue Devils — a victory it desperately needed at that point in the season — but its quick turnaround on the road left a lot to be concerned about.

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Miami jumped out to a 13-1 lead in its victory against Duke and never looked back in the 81-59 victory, despite the Blue Devils not having Dariq Whitehead (lower leg strain) in the matchup.

Scheyer said that he knew the challenge ahead of trying to win on the road after a mentally and physically draining victory, it was clear his players were not ready to take the floor on the quick turnaround and looked like they had been still celebrating its rivalry win the night before.

Now, the two programs meet again in Greensboro with a berth to the ACC Championship on the line.

Duke basketball with major postseason implications on the line

Duke cruised to victory in the quarterfinals, 96-69, against Pittsburgh while Miami had to withstand a late push from Wake Forest and barley survived, 74-72.

The Blue Devils topped the Hurricanes in its first matchup of the season in Durham, 68-66.

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A victory on Friday night — and Saturday night should Duke get that far — would give the program a chance to significantly improve its NCAA Tournament seeding to perhaps as high as a No. 3 seed and give the Blue Devils a preferred location in the Big Dance.

There is still a lot to be determined until then but Duke has a chance to wipe away one of its worst losses of the season in the ACC Semifinals.

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