Clemson latest to upset underachieving No. 16 Duke


Duke entered this week as the No. 16 team in the country, the first time in more than six full seasons that the Blue Devils found themselves sitting outside of the top ten of the AP poll.

That ranking isn’t incorrect, either.

Duke is 1-2 in the ACC for the first time since 2007 after losing to Clemson in Littlejohn Coliseum, 72-59, on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils are 12-4 for the first time since 1996. The last time Clemson beat Duke? February of 2009.

We’re bordering on unchartered territory for the Blue Devils here, and not because this is the first time that Duke has struggled under Mike Krzyzewski. They’ve slumped and they’ve lost a couple games in a row and they’ve been picked off in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. (Hello, Eric Maynor.) That happens with every team from time-to-time, I don’t care who your coach is.

But this year is different.

Duke’s issues have been evident since the start of the season. Remember, this is the same team that nearly lost to East Carolina and Vermont at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the same team that began the year outside of Kenpom’s top 150 in defensive efficiency. We know that Duke is going to have trouble defending on the perimeter, and we know those defensive issues are going to be exacerbated by the fact that there is no one around the rim to act as rim protector.

We know all that.

But it doesn’t change the fact that the Blue Devils were a mess offensively against the Tigers, who admittedly are a good defensive team but not one that should make this Duke team look that bad.

What do I mean by ‘this Duke team’?

Well, one that includes the potential No. 1 pick in Jabari Parker and a pair of potential lottery picks in Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon. One that also includes an underrated (because he’s inconsistent) point guard in Quinn Cook and a pair of sharpshooting off-guards in Matt Jones and Andre Dawkins.

Coach K has more than enough offensive weapons at his disposal and more talent on his roster than everyone in the country outside of maybe 10 teams, and that’s being generous. So why are they being outscored 41-22 in the second half by a Tiger team that’s bad enough that it could end up getting the coach fired? Why is this group getting outscored 26-9 to close out a league game?

The answer: I don’t know.

And it doesn’t look like Coach K does, either. At least not right now.

Because if he did, Duke wouldn’t be losing at Notre Dame and they wouldn’t be losing at Clemson.

The Blue Devils are underachieving right now. When was the last time you could say that about one of Coach K’s teams?

CBT Podcast: 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Preview, Picks and Predictions

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Sam Vecenie of the Athletic and the Game Theory podcast stopped by to chat with Rob Dauster about the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. The two went through each of the eight Sweet 16 matchups, detailing how each one of those eight games projects to play out and going over which lines — spread and over-unders — they like.

Dan Hurley will accept UConn head coaching position

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Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley will be the next head coach at UConn, replacing the 2014 national title winner, Kevin Ollie.

Hurley will be signing a six-year deal, according to multiple reports, that could be valued as much as $18 million. Hurley picked UConn over Pitt, who had also offered him a similar amount of money.

Hurley turned the Rhode Island program around during his six-year tenure, capped off with a pair of seasons where the Rams won a game in the NCAA tournament. UConn, which is one of the best jobs but has not been one of the best teams in the AAC in recent years, should be a place where he can continue to recruit talent. Under Ollie, the Huskies have been able to get players. The issue has been the performance and development of those players once they get to campus.

The Huskies finished 14-18 this past season.

Dan Hurley is the son of New Jersey high school coaching legend Bob Hurley and the brother of former Duke guard and current Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley.

VIDEOS: Villanova team bus stuck on icy roads trying to leave campus

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Villanova’s road to the Sweet 16 hit its roughest patch yet on Wednesday as the team attempted to leave campus for the team’s flight to Boston.

Since the Philadelphia area has been slammed with a snowstorm, the Wildcat team bus had issues leaving to get to the team’s chartered flight.

A struggle between team bus and ice ensued. The bus was delayed by 30 minutes before finally being able to leave.

Villanova continues its NCAA tournament journey on Friday when the No. 1 seed Wildcats play No. 5 seed West Virginia in Boston.

Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods to transfer or go pro after graduation

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Wake Forest will be down a key player next season as the school announced that guard Keyshawn Woods will either transfer or go pro after graduation.

The 6-foot-3 Woods was the team’s second-leading scorer this season as he put up 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Woods shot 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range for the 2017-18 campaign.

Also a key member of last season’s NCAA tournament team for the Demon Deacons, Woods transferred to Wake Forest after spending his first season at Charlotte.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” said Woods in the release. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

The loss of Woods won’t be easy for Wake Forest, but the team is scheduled to return some talented guards like Bryant Crawford and Brandon Childress next season. Incoming freshmen like Jaime Lewis and Sharone Wright Jr. are also signed to add to the perimeter depth.

David Padgett not retained as Louisville coach

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Louisville announced on Wednesday afternoon that interim head coach David Padgett would not be retained.

Padgett, who is 32 years old, stepped in and took the program over in the wake of a scandal that cost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino his job.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David for his leadership and poise this season,” said U of L Interim Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching. We expect to determine a new head coach in a short period to build upon the great basketball tradition of this university.”

Pitino was fired because an FBI complaint contained an allegation that he and his staff had arranged for a $100,000 payment to be funneled to Brian Bowen from Adidas.

In his one season with the Cardinals, Padgett went 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Louisville will now conduct a search for their next head coach, and current Xavier coach Chris Mack has long been considered the favorite to take that job.