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Duke lost to Wake Forest last night. Duke played awful until the last few minutes of the game, minus the last 2.6 seconds. But nothing is more annoying than an ungracious winner. Case in point: Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague.

Watching Teague during the game and his demeanor and actions toward the Duke players reminds me of another egocentric, ungracious player from Wake Forest: Chris Paul. If you know about the time Paul punched NC State’s Julius Hodge in the groin in 2005, then you know what I’m talking about. Paul was suspended, rightly so, for one game. Incidentally, he attempts the same shenanigans in the NBA. I watched him in a game last week where he threw a light punch to another player in the chest, the guy fell down, and the ref didn’t call it. Paul acted like he didn’t do anything. Hey, who cares, he’s passionate and an NBA all-star??? I digress.

I am not saying Teague is a dirty player like Paul, but that he has a similar arrogance.

I’m wondering how the Duke coaching staff is feeling after Teague’s swipe at them when he said this in the post game press conference, “You give our coaching staff a whole week to prepare for you, we’re going to have everything down pat.” And then another dig at the entire Duke team: “I knew we were going to win this game,” Teague said. Bulletin board material me thinks.

Wonder if Teague will be singing a different tune after Wake’s visit to Cameron in a few weeks on Feb. 22. I would venture to guess yes.

Love or hate Duke, everyone can admit that they are a classy, gracious organization, which is set by the attitude of Coach K. They are always quick to say good things about the opposing team–win or lose–and deflect personal praise to a team effort.

I didn’t watch the press conference, so if you did and (objectively) think I’m judging Teague harshly, set me straight. 

On a side note, I used to love Dickie V., but now I find him so annoying. I had the most of the game muted. Vital doesn’t call the game, he cheerleads as the wind blows. It gets old. Even when he’s singing the praises of Duke. Thankfully, he isn’t calling many of Duke’s games this year. But then sometimes we’re stuck with Jay Bilas, a former DUKE player (!), who is almost as bad. I’ll take Mike Patrick and Len Elmore any day. Better yet, Coach Knight! I digress again.

Anyway, Wake Forest is a tough place to play and Wake is exceptional this year. I think the two teams will split their games. That said, I am not surprised at the outcome of this game, but I am surprised at how poorly Duke played. It wasn’t Duke basketball or defense. They were clearly rattled. I was amazed that they nearly squeaked out a W given their horrendous play. Hey, it’s a long season and this is the ACC. Carolina beat Florida State at the buzzer yesterday. They will all beat each other up and lose to one another.  

Duke will watch tape, learn from it, and adjust appropriately. The rematch on Feb. 22 will be a good one. 

Next game: Virginia on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1 @ 2 pm (et) (FSN)


Can you believe conference play has already started and I have not mentioned Duke basketball once??? What is going on?!? Let’s get up to speed.

For the non-basketball junkie, college basketball has different phases to the season: Preseason, non-conference play, conference play, conference tournaments, and the crown jewel–March Madness. The season begins with boondoggle preseason tournaments, the most coveted and prestigious being the Maui Invitational. Seriously, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be in Maui in late November? I rest my case.

Other tourneys include the Paradise Jam in the Caribbean, the South Padre Invitational, CBE Classic, Great Alaska Shootout, the Preseason NIT (you don’t want to be in the POST season NIT because that means you didn’t make the cut as one of the 65 teams for the Big Dance. NIT is also known as Not In Tournament, i.e., no March Madness and no money), Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden in NYC, which incidentally Duke won this year. Sweet.

Well, Duke has played well thus far; they’re 12-1 (They lost to Michigan). I have my gripes with the line-up and their sometimes mediocre play despite having 8 (EIGHT!) McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster, but Coach K is still one of the best coaches in the game and knows how to maximize his talent. I like the defense creates offense philosophy and unselfish team play. There are aspects I don’t like, but we’ll focus on the positive.

Conference play started yesterday in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and this is when the W’s really count. It is with the utmost satisfaction and heartfelt glee in which I write the following:

Duke won.

Carolina lost.

The ABCs of college basketball, especially on Tobacco Road: Anyone But Carolina.

The sport’s pundits can make excuses all they want, but the fact is Boston College played a good, tough basketball game against UNC except when BC got careless in the last few minutes. They could’ve given away the game if Carolina had made some shots, but they didn’t. It goes to show that conference play is challenging, especially within the ACC. This is the one time of year that I miss living in North Carolina. It’s ACC all the time. Gotta love it.

April 2019
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