Duke’s blown leads is enough to make me throw my hands up in disgust too.
Despite all the talk of the Duke-UNC game on Saturday, the Blue Devils came out focused against an inferior team and put them away early.
And then the Blue Devils do what they’ve done so well this year; blow the lead and have to fight off an inferior team.
Duke improves their record to 26-4 (13-2 ACC) and 8-0 in ACC road games with their 79-71 win over Wake Forest but the game should have never been that close.
With all due respect to the Deacons, the Blue Devils should have won this game by about 30 points or more, but with about nine minutes left in the game it looked like Duke put it in cruse control and allowed Wake Forest to shoot back into the game.
The Blue Devils had as much as a 23-point lead behind a solid performance from Ryan Kelly who finished with 23 points. Mason Plumlee also made a cameo appearance and scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds and made 8-9 free throws.
It was, however, a relatively quiet game for Austin Rivers who only managed 10 points on 5-12 shooting.
But once again the story of the game was the Blue Devils yet again allowing a comfortable margin evaporate. This isn’t the first time this has happened but you have to wonder if Duke, with a big lead, was thinking ahead to Saturday’s match up with North Carolina.
Wake Forest got an amazing performance from senior Nikita Mescheriakov who scored 18 points. And sophomore Tony Chennault, who also scored 18 points, helped spear the comeback effort by the Deacons.
Wake Forest erased the big Duke lead in a matter of minutes. It didn’t help that the Blue Devils couldn’t buy a bucket in the last nine minutes scoring only two field goals in that time.
The lead was as low as six points before Wake Forest had to begin to foul to extend the game and fortunately for the Blue Devils that they hit some of those shots and that Miles Plumlee again was a monster on the boards.
Though the senior big man only managed three points he grabbed 11 rebounds further drawing comparisons to the late senior season performance of former Duke player Brian Zoubek.
But the fact that Duke blew a lead in this game is inexcusable and Mike Krzyzewski clearly let his team know it during two back to back timeouts during the Wake Forest run.
Moving ahead the Blue Devils have a few days to rest an prep for the visit from the Tar Heels on Saturday night. Which Duke team will show up remains to be seen.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DukeSportsMKline and visit our Facebook page- Duke Sports Blog. Questions e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org