Duke stuns Carolina

Updated: February 18, 2016

If the last few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that you should never write off Duke basketball as long as Coach K is at the helm. For much like his equivalent in the NFL, Bill Belichick, Mike Kryzyewski is a evil genius of sorts who typically figures out a way to coax wins of whatever roster he has.

Frustrated still at the manner in which the Dukies massaged the refs to the title last year, I was more than ready to stick a fork in them this year after they dropped four of five games in January. But much to my dismay, Duke has rebounded in standard Duke fashion to win five in a row, including last night’s 74-73 thriller over UNC at the Dean Dome.

After getting smacked around in this rivalry over the course of the last few years, I fully expected Carolina to assert itself and gain back some of the momentum they have been losing of late to their friendly neighborhood pretty boys. After all, for the first time in recent memory they clearly have the more talented and deeper roster, and with Amile Jefferson still out of action and Matt Jones departing early in this one with an injury, it was tough to fathom Duke being able to keep pace.

But keep pace they did, and behind performances of Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram they were able to hang around close enough for North Carolina and Roy Williams to self destruct. It was definitely a bad loss for Williams, as his team continues to play carefree at times and missing fight and direction at others.

While there are plenty of “good” teams in college basketball this season, it is hard to point to any real “dominant” teams. Duke has a number of warts, but with a wide open playing field in March, it’s not difficult to imagine them making another deep run. And luckily for them, they possess the one thing Carolina and other teams don’t – Brandon Ingram, one of the most talented players in college basketball not named Ben Simmons. He has the talent to carry Duke and is a matchup nightmare for the opposition.

Depth will continue to be an issue for Duke, but if Jefferson ends up coming back and they get a few breaks along the way, look out. All Coach K needs is a small opening to exploit, as he has proven time and time again that he is better at playing the system than anyone.




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