After two years of disappointment in March, this edition of Duke basketball comes in a little smarter, a little older, and appears a whole lot better. Even with the disappointment at Chapel Hill, this Duke team seems to playing its best basketball of the season. After a slump in February, Duke ran off five straight and some of the most emotional victories of the year. But the past wins and loses don’t matter anymore. It is the time for the real “Madness” to begin, and Duke is looking to change the perception of not only the haters but its fans.
Duke looks toward a ACC tournament that is filled with talented teams. This might be one of the best years as far as depth that this league has had in a long time. To even get to the final game with be a huge achievement. But even with these factors Duke can’t settle for “moral victories”, or “good loses”. This Duke team has to do something special. Forget about the people on the outside, they have to do it for themselves. They have to want it more than the team they are playing that night. Every player from Gerald Henderson to Miles Plumlee, will have to play at the highest level to get far in not only the ACC tournament but the NCAA tournament.
Duke seems confident, even after the lose to UNC. And why shouldn’t they? They are still a top ten caliber team, and they have the star power that can carry you in a game. Duke basketball has always been about the team, and how this team works together when it counts will be the deciding factor. How far can Duke go? The sky is the limit. How far will Duke go? No one can be sure. But the boys from Durham may have something special brewing. And that is why I can’t wait to see them step on the floor again.