Here’s a score that requires a double-take: Duke 79, Wake Forest 71.
Yes, the No. Blue Devils – tied with UNC atop the ACC — turned in a less-than-impressive result against one of the league’s worst teams. Much of that is because they blew most of a 23-point lead in the second half before making some late plays – and getting some Wake misses – to win.
That’s worth a rip or two, right? Shouldn’t a team flirting with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament produce a better final score than that?
Not if you’re coach Mike Krzyzewski. Not even close. From StarNews:
“I just think winning is important,” said Krzyzewski, whose team let a 23-point lead with 11:45 remaining dwindle down to six before finally regaining control. “I think people have graded our performance all year instead of grading our record.
“We’re 26-4, 13-2 in the conference and people want to nitpick that you didn’t play well for these four minutes, or you only won by this, instead of saying they did a great job.”
Fair enough. Duke is winning. And with UNC coming up, that’s all Coach K wants to talk about. It can be ugly at times, but they are outperforming every ACC team in efficiency margin except UNC. (Note: Duke’s efficiency margin doesn’t resemble that of a No. 1 seed, though. Your eyes do no deceive you.)
That counts for something, right? Especially when it’s a team of mis-matched parts.
“I’ve never had a team like this. It’s crazy,” Krzyzewski said. “Part of it is we’ve never been system oriented. I’ve always tried to figure out who I have and what’s best for that group. With this team, we’re doing it every day.
“The neat thing is that they’ve played hard. They’re getting better. They have a will to win and a lot of guys have stepped up.”
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