The No. 9 Duke Blue Devils rolled over yet another weak, non-conference opponent in the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The 82-59 win over the 7-4 Eagles brought Duke’s record to 10-2, but as crazy as it sounds, the Blue Devils are nowhere near a top 10 in the country with their results from non-conference play.
The Blue Devils’ best wins all seasons have been against the now 7-4 Michigan Wolverines and the UCLA Bruins. Next to those teams, Duke hasn’t beaten any expected 2014 NCAA Tournament bound teams. On top of that, Duke’s two losses have come to the now No. 1 Arizona Wildcats and the now No. 16 Kansas Jayhawks; Duke has lost to every team that they played who are currently in the top 25.
The Blue Devils have not proven that they are capable of winning the ACC, let alone the 2014 NCAA Tournament. They don’t even play another top team until Feb. 1 when they face the No. 2 Syracuse Orange. Duke may be a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but they’ll have to win the ACC and the ACC Tournament if they are to secure a top two seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Don’t get me wrong, Duke has every chance to win the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils have the best player in the country, Jabari Parker, along with one of the most underrated players in the country, Rodney Hood. However, a 10-2 record with their best win against a now 7-4 Michigan team and losses to the only top teams they played are not good signs for the start of ACC play. Duke has to start demolishing opponents, because the NCAA selection committee doesn’t select teams based on names alone – just ask the Kentucky Wildcats.