Thursday, January 13, 2011
Yesterday, Drive and Dish returned to posting about basketball (sort of) when we explained why we didn't run a blog post predicting a Penn State upset win over No. 16 Illinois, despite the fact that we expected Penn State to win. It's become routine for Penn State to upset Illinois. It happens almost every year. Illinois may have been heavily favored to win Tuesday night's game, but Penn State has had Illinois' number over the years.
Similarly, the mighty Duke basketball program has been upended by unheralded Florida State several times in recent years. Just as Illinois always seems to struggle when they play at Penn State, Duke seems to struggle when they're ranked No. 1 and they play Florida State on the road in Tallahassee. Florida St. upset a top-ranked Duke team in 2002 and upset another top-ranked Duke team in 2006. We never, however, imagined that Duke would have trouble with Florida State this year. Given Duke's previously unblemished record, season-long No. 1 ranking (obviously, having a No. 1 ranking doesn't mean that a team is unbeatable; we cite Duke's No. 1 ranking only because Duke has been the clear No. 1 team this year), and seeming clear superiority over all other teams in college basketball this year, we figured that coach Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils would take the Seminoles out pretty easily this time.
We were wrong.
Florida State upset Duke 66-61.
The loss won't set Duke back much, if at all. In fact, it may not be a bad thing that Duke got the "undefeated" monkey off their backs in the second week of January. They won't have to slog through their ACC intra-conference schedule with the added pressure of trying to be the first team to go undefeated since Bob Knight's 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. They weren't going to go undefeated anyway. Nobody does that in today's game. Now they can stay entirely focused on winning the conference, winning the ACC Tournament, and winning the NCAA title.
(Photo -- Florida State fans rush the court after Florida upsets No. 1 Duke: AP Photo/Steve Cannon)