ACC Opener: Devils Fall, Irish Emerge
Share this article
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils have won at a monumental pace for decades.
Since the late 1980s, in fact.
Until Monday, the Dookies had been ranked in the Top 10 nationally for 122 consecutive weeks, going back to 2007. That may not seem like a long time, but so much has changed since then. For example:
- An African-American senator from Illinois was given little chance for success when he decided to run for president.
- Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana.
- There was no Facebook, Twitter or any social media as we know the term today.
But like all good things, Duke's streak had to come to an end. The telling blow was at the hands of Nôtre Dame in a 79-77 loss last weekend. Duke (11-3, 0-1 in the ACC) is now ranked No 16 in the latest AP poll, its lowest ranking since the end of the 2006-07 season.
When it comes to hoops, we view the ACC like we do the SEC in football. We expect the weekly list Top 10 teams to include ACC names, but that was tough to do this past weekend, with the likes North Carolina and NC State also losing their openers. The Tar Heels are currently out of the Top 25 altogether, and the Wolfpack isn't even listed in the 'also receiving votes' graveyard. In fact, only ACC newcomer and perennial powerhouse Syracuse is holding the conference colors in the Top 10 right now.
The positive out of all of this -- if there is one for Duke -- is that the Blue Devils still look good. The team seems very mesomorphic, but the meshing of individual talent is yet to be seen. Perhaps the biggest question right now is whether coach Mike Krzyzewski's philosophy translates well enough for one-and-done players to be successful in it. Yes, Kentucky has had success with the concept, but this is Duke. The smart kids. A last bastion of what college basketball is supposed to be.
Needless to say, the college hoops world is watching closely.
But let’s not forget about Nôtre Dame, who wanted to make some noise upon its arrival into the ACC. Mission accomplished.