Lineup shakeup has Devils streaking

Staff WriterFebruary 28, 2009 

It's tempting to declare Duke's problems solved.

The lineup change that made Elliot Williams a starter and moved Jon Scheyer from shooting guard to point guard has produced three straight wins.

Within the past six days, No. 7-ranked Duke has avenged a loss to Wake Forest and defeated a Maryland team coming off an upset of North Carolina and eager for a win to solidify its NCAA Tournament resume.

Duke's stretch of four losses in six games is getting smaller in the rearview mirror. But history suggests it's too soon to assume Duke has fixed its problems and will waltz into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament after falling short the past two seasons.

In 2007, the Blue Devils followed a four-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak. Just when things seemed back on an even keel, Duke lost another four in a row, including the season-ender against Virginia Commonwealth.

Last season, another late four-game winning streak that was supposed to turn things around didn't last, either. Duke dropped three of the next five and was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by West Virginia.

Duke (23-5, 9-4 ACC) can take another step toward stability today at Virginia Tech (17-10, 7-6). Looking at the broader picture, the Devils have a chance to at least tie North Carolina for first place in the ACC. It would take wins over the Hokies, Florida State and North Carolina in a nine-day span to do it.

NO. 7 DUKE AT VIRGINIA TECH

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. today WHERE: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.

TV: WTVD, WCTI RADIO: WDNC-620, WRBZ-850

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