Duke Blue Devils all-time round-by-round record in the NCAA Tournament

Here's a look at the all-time record for Duke in each round of the NCAA Tournament

Wisconsin v Duke
Wisconsin v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages
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Duke basketball is synonymous with March. That's when the Blue Devils have so often risen to the top of the sport.

All-time, the NCAA Tournament the program is 119-40 over the course of 45 NCAA Tournament appearances. Of course, that includes five National Championships and six runner-up finishes.

The team has been to the Final Four 17 times, the Elite Eight 23 times, and the Sweet 16 28 times. What's more, the program has been a No. 1 seed 14 times since the tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

So let's break down the Blue Devils' record all-time in the NCAA Tournament by looking at the program's success in each round. We'll start by looking at the years prior to the tournament's modern era.

Prior to 1985

Overall Record: 17-9

The Blue Devils were 17-9 in the Big Dance before 1985. That began in 1955 with a 74-73 loss to Villanova.

1963 was the first year that Duke found its way into the Final Four. That year. the Devils fell 94-75 to Loyola-Chicago before winning the now-defunct national consolation game 85-63 over Oregon State.

The first time the program played for the National Title was in 1978. That year, Duke beat Notre Dame 90-86 in the Final Four before falling 94-88 to Kentucky in the championship game.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Blue Devils would be one-and-done in 1955, 1979, and 1984. Now, let's take a look at how Duke has fared in the modern era of the tournament.

First Round

Overall Record: 32-3

Because Duke has been one of the powers in college basketball throughout the modern era of the tournament, the program has rarely had trouble in the first round. In fact, since 1985, the program has been 32-3 in first-round games.

From 1985-94, the Devils would go 10-0 in the first round. That streak ended with a 75-60 loss to No. 9 seed Eastern Michigan in 1996. That year was just one season removed from Duke missing the tournament altogether when Coach K had to take a leave of absence due to exhaustion brought on by the rigors of recovery from back surgery.

1997-2006 would see another 10-game first-round winning streak for the Devils before that was snapped with a loss to 11-seed VCU in the first round in 2006. Then, four more first-round wins would precede 2012's first-round loss to the No. 15 seed Lehigh. The Devils also fell in the 2014 first round to No. 14 seed Mercer 78-71.

Since that season, Duke has been working on a 7-game first-round winning streak. That streak could move to eight games on Friday night against No. 13 seed Vermont.

Second Round

Overall Record: 26-6

The first time Duke went to the second round under the 64-team format, the result was a disappointing 74-73 loss to Boston College which was the No. 11 seed in 1985. After that, the program would string together eight consecutive second-round wins.

In the 1993 tournament, No. 6 Cal would drop No. 3 Duke in the second round 82-77. Similarly, in 1997, No. 2 seed Duke fell to No. 10 seed Providence 98-87 in the second game of the tournament.

For the next nine years, Duke would win second-round games. That streak would be snapped in 2008, though, as the Blue Devils would fall to No. 7 seed West Virginia 73-67. Duke would then win its next six second-round games before losing to No. 7 seed South Carolina in the second round in 2017.

Last year's second-round loss to No. 4 Tennessee was the first second-round loss the program has suffered since 2017. Interestingly, it was also the first time in the modern era of the tournament that Duke has played a second-round game as the lower seed in the game.

Sweet 16

Overall Record: 17-9

Going 17-9 in the Sweet 16 round is nothing to scoff at. After all, many programs around the nation consider just reaching the tournament's second weekend to be a major accomplishment.

From 1988-2001, Duke won all nine of the Sweet 16 games it appeared in. However, that streak would end with back-to-back losses to Indiana and Kansas in 2002 and 2003.

Then, following a Sweet 16 win in 2004, the program would drop three straight Sweet 16 games in 2005, 2006, and 2009. However, the program has rebounded to win six of its last eight games in the regional semifinals.

Elite 8

Overall Record: 13-4

When playing for the right to head to the Final Four, Duke has come up clutch far more often than not. With an overall record of 13-4 in the Elite Eight since 1985, the Blue Devils have a stellar mark in a round where the cream often rises to the top.

Duke has won Elite Eight games in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 20110, 2015, and 2022. Of course, the most famous of those was the 1992 104-103 ovetime win over No. 2 seed Kentucky that saw Christian Laettner hit the game-winning turnaround jumper as time expired.

Final Four

Overall Record: 9-4

Many programs get to the Final Four and seem to have a sense of accomplishment that makes them lose some of the edge that got them to the National Semifinals. Duke, however, operates on a different level. Sure, getting to the Final Four is great but the goal is always to cut down the nets.

Overall, the Blue Devils are 9-4 in the Final Four since the tournament expanded in 1985. That's an incredible mark.

Duke won Final Four games in 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2010, and 2015. Some of the most memorable of those games were 1991's upset of reigning champion UNLV and 2001's memorable comeback against Maryland. Of course, there has also been heartbreak in the Final Four for Duke including 2022's loss to the Tar Heels in Coach K's final game.

National Championship Game

Overall Record: 5-4

In the National Championship Game, it's been more of a toss-up for Duke. However, the program is 5-4 overall and that's a mark that almost any other school would gladly accept.

Duke's titles came in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, and 2015. Of course, the most memorable of those were the first two because the team that pulled off those back-to-back titles might be one of the best college basketball teams of all time with Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Grant Hill leading the way.

The losses in 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1999 have been tough to bear though. The 1999 loss was especially shocking given that Duke entered the game against No. 1 seed UCONN with a record of 37-1.

There you have it friends. As you can see, the Blue Devils have a winning record in every round of the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded in 1985 and this year, the hope is that the program can string together six more wins to add to its storied history in March.

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