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Are Duke’s Black Jerseys Really Cursed?

This past Friday night, against #4 Arizona, the Blue Devils broke out their alternate black jerseys for the first time this season. When it was announced they would be wearing them, you could hear the collective groan on Twitter:

Many fans feel as if the black jerseys are cursed and almost guarantee a Duke loss. But is that just a myth or are they really cursed?

We went back from first known moment Duke wore them (thanks to @FortyNickels for the link – make sure to give him a follow), and went game by game to determine if they wore them and if there is anything to the “curse.”

Here are some facts from when the Blue Devils have worn the black jerseys:

  • Duke has played 68 games with a overall record of 41-27.
  • Never been unranked.
  • Have an average ranking of #5.
  • Played 17 games ranked #1 with a record of 11-6.
  • Played only 3 games ranked outside the Top 10.
  • Lowest ranking was #16 against Maryland in 2007.
  • Have been upset (lost to a lower ranked opponent) 24 times.
  • Played 22 games against ranked opponents and have a record of 11-11 in those games.
  • Played 46 games against unranked opponents and have a record of 30-16 in those games.
  • Largest margin of victory while was 33 points against UNC Greensboro on New Year’s Eve in 2005.
  • Largest margin of defeat was 15 points, which happened twice, once versus Maryland in 2003 and again versus St. John’s in 2011.
  • Longest winning streak is 7 games.
  • Longest losing streak is 3 games which has happened 3 times.
  • Worn the jerseys most against North Carolina (8 times) with a record of 7-1.
  • Had won 4 in a row before losing to Arizona.

So are the jerseys really cursed? Duke only wears the black jerseys on the road or at neutral site locations (except for their first game). During the time period since they first debuted them, they have a winning percentage of 81% (140-33) for road and neutral site games they have not worn the black jerseys. However, while wearing them they have a winning percentage of 60%.

Looks like black isn’t really Duke’s color, except against UNC. Of course for Blue Devil fans, they enjoy making the Tar Heels black and blue.

What do you, the fans, think?

You can find the complete list of games with results below.

[table id=50 /]

Please note this list may be incomplete. There is no official record of when Duke has worn the black jerseys. We had to go game by game and use photo/video footage to determine if Duke wore them. If there is a game we did not include on this list, and you can provide photo/video footage, please let us know and we will update the list and stats.