Posted: 3/10/2012 9:56:24 PM
All good things must come to an end and such is the case with Duke's recent string of dominance in the ACC Tournament has been snapped. The Blue Devils have completely and utterly dominated the ACC Tournament since 1999. They are a stunning 35-6 and the current group of Duke juniors have suffered only one loss in the event, and that occurred Saturday.
I was on the record earlier in the year as saying I didn't believe that Duke would win the ACC this season. But after their performance in Maui at the beginning of the year and their victory over North Carolina just last month I was thinking just maybe.
A devastating blow out on senior day to the same North Carolina team and more inconsistent play in their two games of the tournament confirmed my earlier thoughts that this team just isn't that good.
That isn't to say I am any less of a fan or that I don't think they are still a good team, 27-6 is still pretty good, they just aren't a championship team.
Mike Krzyzewski talked in the post game press conference of how his team played winning basketball. I might have to disagree with him a bit. I certainly think the effort is there but the Blue Devils have been too vulnerable to lapses by players, have lacked consistency and both their two tournament games were marred by sloppy play.
That isn't winning basketball.
Florida State was the better team without a doubt and held on despite yet another Duke attempt at a late game comeback.
Had the Blue Devils won, I'm not certain I would have felt that they necessarily deserved it. Again not because of effort, but because that wasn't winning basketball that made key mistake after key mistake and failed to get a stop at seemingly every critical opportunity.
This has never been a traditional Duke team. They have never started and ended with defense. There defense isn't the driving force and I think that has been what is so frustrating to watch.
With the loss Duke will likely be a No. 2 seed at best when the NCAA Tournament brackets are unveiled Sunday night.
I'm not sure what more Krzyzewski can do in the span of four or five days to get this team better.
For now the dominance they have exhibited in the ACC Tournament is over, at least for this season and it is on to the NCAA Tournament that starts next week.
Stay tuned to the Duke Sports Blog for coverage and analysis of the Blue Devils bracket and tournament matchups.
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