The Blue Devils dropped a 52-50 defensive slugfest to the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday. This is Duke’s second-straight defeat at the hands of an unranked opponent.
Losing to the Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena isn’t a bad loss whatsoever. But to put things in context, this is Duke’s fifth loss to an unranked opponent this season. As noted by Katie Sharp, it’s the first time under Coach K that a Blue Devils team ranked in the top-seven has lost at least five contests to unranked teams.
The Blue Devils’ loss to Virginia on Saturday wasn’t pretty, but their shocking upset loss to Wake Forest earlier this week was flat-out ugly. Other than UVA and WF, Duke’s losses to unranked opponents have come against Stephen F. Austin, Clemson and N.C. State.
If the startling trend continues, Duke could have major trouble on its hands in regards to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils will have to be careful during the first weekend of March Madness.
— Virginia Men's Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) March 1, 2020
There’s no doubt this Duke team can win it all, but youth and inexperience remains a major issue.
Several of the past National Championship teams were led by experienced, tough players.
It’s late in the season, but it appears the Blue Devils still need to figure a few things out ahead of tournament time.