For the first time since JJ Redick and Shelden Williams walked the court of Cameron, Duke is the #1 in the nation. Even though the last two years had been disappointing with early exits, most Duke fans seem to be skiddish of this ranking. I can understand as last years team was well on course to being a Final Four team, before a late season slump put Duke, for the second year in a row, with a disappointing finish. However, I think we are missing out of the accomplishments of this great team. I can guarantee that Duke isn’t scared of being #1. Teams strive to be #1 at this point in the year, no matter what they might say. It means that you are winning games, and who doesn’t want that.
Duke fans however, view the ranking with a grain of salt. Instead of celebrating it, they don’t want to celebrate to soon. No question the goal of every team is to win the national championship. But before March/April there is everything else. This is the journey that you have to take before you get to the tournament. And right now Duke is embracing that journey better than any team in the nation.
It won’t get any easier with the schedule coming up. 7 of the last 12 games are on the road. Those include trips to Maryland, Wake, and UNC.
To stay at a high level Duke will have to get past memories of late season slumps. And the fans will just have to try to enjoy the ride.