There is an overwhelming sense of stagnation for the Duke fan base after experiencing a close overtime loss to Syracuse. The reason being that the game was such a classic, that it’s hard to move on as the residue lingers for many.
But move on, Duke will and their next opponent will be Wake Forest in cozy Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Face it, the Duke versus the ‘Cuse game was amazing but thankfully for the Blue Devils there is plenty of basketball left in the season.
When Duke takes the floor against the Deacons you can expect the Crazies to be on their game and starting to prep for a return match up with Syracuse.
There are just five games left in Cameron this season, so each will be of the utmost importance as the Blue Devils scramble for a good seed come tournament time.
To do that, Krzyzewski will not allow his team to overlook the Deacons, who holds wins over the likes of North Carolina and Notre Dame while sporting a 14-8 record.
This is a better Wake Forest team than a year ago and the best its embattled coach, Jeff Bzdelik’s tenure. But they’ve won just two out of their last three games.
In years past, Wake has been led by Travis McKie, but in his senior season, he’s but the third leading scorer.
Stepping up for the Deacs has been most noticeable from Cody Miller-McIntyre and Devin Thomas giving Wake three double figure scores this season.
This game will have more to do with the play of Duke than Wake though. And what I mean, is can the Blue Devils quickly put a classic game behind them.
My guess is that they will and we will almost certainly see a lower scoring game and that seemingly is to the Deacons liking in that they’ve scored 80 points or more in five games against lesser opponents on the season.
The Blue Devils could be a bit hung over, but they’ve been playing good basketball since their win over Virginia and my guess is that they’ll want to prove the loss to the Orange was a blip on the radar.
I think Duke will attack Wake from start to finish and use their depth which has been huge of late.
Look for Duke to continue to establish players roles as well as we near tournament time.
Moving forward, Duke will be a tough draw and while the team has fallen short against the likes of Syracuse, Kansas and Arizona, they are learning what it takes to win those games.
The game will tip at the dreaded 9:00 time slot but the positive there, is that the Blue Devils could likely use all the rest they can get.
If Duke is not caught looking ahead, I see them cruising to a victory. The key will simply be to bring the emotion and desire to the table they’ve played with of late.