The Duke Blue Devils did not start off conference play the way they would have liked. I am not trying to speak for the team or anything like that, but I am sure they were not expecting to lose against Notre Dame and Clemson right off of the bat — both teams were unranked. Well, how can the Blue Devils get their ACC mojo back?
That is pretty simple if you take a look at their upcoming schedule.
Duke will have a “tuneup game” against Florida State and then it will play Pittsburgh and Syracuse in back-to-back contests. I put the quotations around tuneup game because the Seminoles have beaten VCU (ranked No. 10 at the time), Massachusetts (ranked No. 22 at the time), Maryland and Notre Dame. They also beat Clemson at Clemson, which in case you already forgot, is a team that Duke lost to.
With that in mind, Florida State has been a great basketball team, but let’s get back on track.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse are No. 1 and No. 2 in the ACC standings. Well, Virginia is tied with the Panthers, but you get the point.
Basically, “if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best” or that is at least how the quote goes. That could not be any more true in Duke’s case.
However, the Blue Devils will play both teams on the road and both teams are ranked.
Duke still has a great tandem in Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood and it has plenty of talented role players to back them up.
The Blue Devils came into the season as the favorites to win the ACC title. They have already lost four games and have taken a dip in the rankings, but they can be the team to beat in the conference once again by beating the Panthers and the Orange. It is that simple, but will not be that easy. Not even close.