The Blue Devils rolled into Virginia Tech with a huge amount of confidence. They had just won two of the biggest games of the season, and they played themselves back in for a possible ACC championship. However, Virginia Tech was coming off a huge win over Clemson and were fighting for the chance to play in the NCAA tournament. While Virginia Tech, as usual, played Duke to their maximum ability it was the stars for Duke and a great defensive effort that made the difference. Gerald Henderson in the first half and Kyle Singler in the second. Both with 21 points, and both had very different halves. Henderson seemed to suffer with his shot and VT wasn’t giving him anything easy in the 2nd . It was up to Singler to pick up where his teammate left off. And for the first time in a long stretch of ACC games, Kyle Singler was the star of the show while Gerald was left to run support. Add in Scheyer having another solid game at point guard and scoring 16 points, and the three headed monster for Duke struck again in Blacksburg. While Elliot Williams didn’t have a explosive offensive game, it was his defense of Malcolm Delaney that really made a difference. VT needed someone other than Vassallo to step up, but no one could. The VT star went 2-12 from the field, and was only a factor in dishing out 8 assists.
This team had their first gut check game in awhile, and really showed great poise even when VT tied the game. Like their past wins they showed patience with their game and got it done when it mattered most. Coach K was fired up, and while he enjoyed the victory, I suspect that the practices up until the FSU game will be very intense.
So here we stand. Duke is once again playing terrific basketball, and for once at the right time. They have played this tough final stretch very well, but will still have to play at a high level to keep those W’s coming. Just two more games left in the regular season. The first will be the emotional Senior Night game where Greg Paulus, David McClure, and Marty Pocius will take the floor at Cameron for the last time. For the other players, this is the final goodbye to Cameron for the rest of the season. And of course it won’t be a cakewalk. Florida State comes in as one of the top four teams in the ACC after beating Clemson. There NCAA ticket might already be punched, but these guys will still be hungry against a Duke team that they always like to get up against. All hands on deck for this one.
While Duke and the fans shouldn’t look ahead to Sunday, no one can ignore that UNC waits for the final showdown of the regular season. Both teams have some business to take care of before than, but this game could mean a lot to both teams, and should provide many answers.
Time to put it all on the line. This mini rollar coaster of a season has provided many thrills. RIght now Duke nation is feeling good, and we hope to keep that for the rest of the month. It is time to see how good this team is, and how bad they really want it.