Duke basketball: Much-needed break for Devils

The Duke basketball team had their toughest week of the season this past week.  They played two road games and a home game against Syracuse.  The North Carolina game moving to Thursday this past week really hurt the Blue Devils however the week turned out to be a very successful one, as Duke went 2-1, and they beat Syracuse at home.

It was a relatively successful week.  Their first game of the week was at Georgia Tech.  They played pretty well, and were able to pull ahead for good in the second half to end it quickly.  They beat a team that was one of the worst in the ACC, and didn’t come as a surprise that they beat them by 17 points.  After the Georgia Tech game, the week was harder for the Blue Devils.Semi Ojeleye

They played North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  This was a tough game considering the rivalry, and that the Tar Heels are playing much better now.  This game is one that Duke let slip through their hands. After leading most of the game, they came up short after a long stretch of not being able to score in the second half.  They lost by eight points to North Carolina, but the next game against UNC is in Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 8th.

The last game of the week was against Syracuse- a rematch from earlier in the season.  This game was another great game between Syracuse and Duke.  They played this game in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and having lost in overtime at Syracuse earlier in the year, this was a good win for Duke.  They played well the entire game; they struggled offensively in the first half but played much better defense.

Duke has played three teams that were in the top five when they played them, and Duke has improved every time they played these teams.  It started with Kansas where they lost to by 11 points.  Then it continued with Arizona and they lost by six points.  Then came both games against Syracuse; the first game Duke lost in overtime by two points, but the last game Duke won by six points.  This team has truly improved over time, and they look ready for the NCAA tournament, and look like they will be able to beat some of the better teams in the tournament.

This week will be much easier for the Blue Devils.  They have only one game this week and that is against Virginia Tech, and it’s another home game.  This should be a win, and will give them time to get ready for Wake Forest and North Carolina next week.  Duke should be able to win out the rest of their games.  They have home games against Virginia Tech and North Carolina.  They also have a road game but that’s only against Wake Forest, who is towards the bottom of the ACC.