Jeff: Shifting gears to basketball, the Eagles shot well Saturday and were leading much of the game down in Durham before losing by 10. Hopefully the young Eagles can gain some confidence from playing well on the road but unfortunately that is still another L and extends the streak to 6 losses in a row in conference.
Brian: I DVRed the game on Saturday (admittedly not giving the Eagles any chance of winning) and was out with my girlfriend in the city when a friend texted me the score. So we finished up lunch, I turned off my cell phone (so as to not get any text messages, e.g. "OMFG Rice is a beast. Coach K is crying. Eagles win!"), I ran home and watched the game in its entirety. Of course, being tied late gave me a little bit of false hope that the Eagles could pull off the upset. Some observations:
- If Rice played the way he did Saturday in our last 5 losses, we would have only lost 1-2 of those games.
- Freshman mistakes cost us this game. We turned the ball over 15 more times than Duke did (21-6)
- The Blue Devils kept us in the game with poor FT shooting (20-33, including missing 9 of the first 13). As written in the Charlotte Observer, this might come back to bite them in the ACC Tournament or the NCAAs. My advice: short the Dookies in the tournament.
- I hate Duke because they get all the calls. When you don't get the 50/50 ticky-tack calls and don't get opportunities at the line, you aren't going to beat the best teams in the country. I'm sure articles have been written about Duke in the past, about how they get all the calls, but when you get twice as many fouls called on you than the other team, and attempt 20 less free-throws, you can't expect to win any game in the ACC.
Jeff, your thoughts?
Jeff: The Eagles played well enough to keep it close, not to win. If they hadn't shot well in the first half they would not have been leading at halftime. The Eagles' turnovers hurt them yes but it was not an astounding number. This team gets turned over by almost every opponent and Duke turns everyone over so I thought the turnovers could've been even worse and if they played again would be only slightly better at best.