This past week the Duke Blue Devils, then ranked second in the nation, were shocked by the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In a hellacious battle, the Demons beat the Devils 86- 73, and with that Duke fell to number five in the country with a 22-2 record overall and a 10- 1 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Wake Forest, which was 5-5 in the ACC and 16- 8 overall, was a massive underdog, being fifth in conference and with Duke at the top spot. In the game, the Demon Deacons scooped 41 rebounds to the Blue Devilsâ€™ 33 and hit 45% of their shots to Dukeâ€™s 41%. But more important in the victory was foul shooting. Wake Forest went to the charity stripe 38 times, while their opponents stepped up just 25. The Deacons hit 71% of there foul tries for 27 points, while the Devils hit only 52% of their foul shots, earning a mere 13 points. That was the difference in the game.
Standout starters for Wake Forest were freshman guard Jeff Teague, who hit for 26 points, and first year forward James Johnson, who was good for 24 points and 16 rebounds. Off the bench, sophomore forward Jamie Skeen played 21 minutes, scoring 10 points and taking in 9 rebounds. Together Johnson and Skeen had four of eight blocks. The Deacons blocked 8 Duke shots, while the Devils knocked away only two.
Duke next plays Miami, which currently holds seventh-place in the ACC. That game will be on Wednesday, February 20. Perhaps the biggest game of the season will be Dukeâ€™s final regular season match up against North Carolina. North Carolina is presently ranked third in the nation.
Look for Duke to rebound and to be perfect until they meet the UNC Tar Heels. At that point almost anything is possible. Presently Duke is #1 and NC is #2 in the ACC. The Tar Heels are one game out of first-place. Who will be tops in the ACC? Only time will tell.