The Blue Devils started out the season as one of the favorites to win the ACC, and even a favorite to make it to the Final Four of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. However, they lost two non-conference games to the Kansas Jayhawks and Arizona Wildcats, as well as two games to weaker ACC opponents, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Clemson Tigers.
However, a crucial win over the Virginia Cavaliers and dominating performances over the North Carolina State Wolfpack and now the Miami Hurricanes could mean things have finally turned around for the Blue Devils.
Duke absolutely manhandled Miami, with future top 2014 NBA Draft pick Jabari Parker scoring 17 points and pulling in 15 rebounds. The Hurricanes only had one player score in double digits — Donnavan Kirk — in a dominating performance by the Blue Devils’ defense. The win over Miami produced one of the most all-around telling performances of the season by Duke and could be a good sign for the future.
Although at 4-2 in ACC play, Duke gets to play the No. 20 Pittsburgh Panthers, who are one game ahead of them, holds the tie-breaker with Virginia, and plays the ACC leading No. 2 Syracuse Orange twice, who lead the ACC by two games. The Blue Devils could have hit their stride at the right time and may finally have a defense that can match their top level offense.
Duke may not be where we thought they would be at this point in the season, but the Blue Devils will have the last word in which team comes out on top in the ACC.