Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wake Forest Beats No. 1 Duke


Wednesday night, No. 6 Wake Forest beat No. 1 Duke 70-68. Last week, Wake Forest earned its first No. 1 in the ranking AP Top 25 since November, 2004. But Virginia Tech upset Wake Forest on January 21, just two days after the Demon Deacons took over the No. 1 position.

On Monday, Duke (18-2, 5-1) replaced Wake Forest (17-1, 4-1) as the No. 1 men's college basketball team in America (the AP Top 25 is released each Monday during college basketball season). But just as Wake Forest did last week, Duke lost a game two mere days after garnering their first No. 1 ranking of the 2008/09 season. Thus, the Blue Devils' stint at No. 1 will likely be as short-lived as Wake Forest's one week No. 1 run.

No. 3 Pittsburgh Falls

Also on Wednesday night, Villanova beat No. 3 Pittsburgh 67-57.


2 comments:

Izzy said...

I was in attendance at the game, and although this may be blasphemous to the Wake Forest Nation I am a part of, we have to give credit to the Blue Devils. They came back from 13 down, and tied the game up. That has to be a testament to the level of talent and perseverance this team has. That will be very valuable come tournament time because they will likely not have to play in an environment as hostile as Joel Coliseum come tournament time. Watching the Blue Devil demeanor, it was clear that they were not phased by the deficit.

Watching Gerald Henderson calmly and methodically score the ball was something that should alarm the rest of the country. Even Scheyer was impressive with his shooting ability. Two or Three plays that go Duke's way and they win the game. It was a great college basketball game, and it certainly gave the country look at two of the best teams in the country this year.

The game meant more to the Deacs than it did to the Blue Devils. Duke will be a #1 or #2 seed come tournament time. The selection committee will penalize Duke a lot less for this loss than if Wake had lost to Duke. Wake has to earn the #1 seed without any question. If Duke is on the cusp of the #1, they will get the benefit of doubt because Coach K has built a reputation and legacy of great basketball tradition there. Wake is far too inconsistent of a program for the committee to look the other way come Selection Sunday. With that, this college basketball season has been a very unpredictable, and it almost assures the same come March Madness. Enjoy.

Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

Izzy,

That was a great game. Prior to the game, I didn't think that Wake Forest was a legitimate Final Four contender. But after having watched them survive Duke's comeback, I've changed my mind. They're still a very young team and they're still a bit rough around the edges, but they've got the requisite size and talent to be Final Four/Championship.

Of course, free throw shooting could be their downfall in the NCAA Tournament. And their youth and inexperience still shows at times. What's more, I'm still not sold on their decision making.

But they've definitely got the horses to make a run.

As for Duke, their comeback was classic Duke/Mike Krzyzewski basketball. Most college basktball fans hate Duke, but I've always admired their program and their brand of basketball (although I could do without the serial-flopping and the Cameron Crazies).

I love how you described their demeanor. Duke never gets phased or rattled, even when they're losing a road game. And Gerald Henderson was, indeed, calm and methodical. He handled what was a difficult situation like he was a 10 year NBA veteran playing in the NBA Finals.

If I were coaching a high school or college team, I'd want them to approach the game like Duke does. As much as people hate on Coach K and Duke (including many of my UNC and Clemson alumni family members), I've always been impressed by them, if not by their fans.