Remember the weekend wake up from last year? Basically, the NandO takes a look around the ACC every Saturday in print, so I take a look at Duke, for anything that didn’t get covered over course of the week. Look for this every Friday, while you’re bored at work.
After a surprise upset of Duke Saturday, Notre Dame came out sluggish Tuesday against N.C. State, according to the South Bend Tribune, and the Wolfpack came away with a conference win on the road (Notre Dame beat writer Tom Noie later said on Twitter the Irish looked like a team stuck in a snowdrift). But cheer up, Irish. Many endure a letdown after playing Duke (and North Carolina, too).
The Duke hangover has been a thing for many years now, but it’s been particularly powerful of late. In the past year, ACC teams that have beaten Duke in the regular season are 1-4 in their next games (the exception was 2013 ACC champion Miami).
"Every team gets up to play us," Rodney Hood said before the Notre Dame game. "So, really, every game for us is a big game. We don’t have any cupcake games where we walk through games. No matter who comes in here or no matter who we play on a neutral site, when they play Duke, they bring their best. Guys make shots that sometimes they don’t normally make, and they come out firing, they come out and give us their best."
And sometimes teams come out with new wrinkles. Georgia Tech opted to try to take advantage of both of Duke’s defensive weaknesses—stopping drivers and defending the post—in one fell swoop, having center Daniel Miller set picks and then cut to the basket in a pick-and-roll, ball screen offense (normally Miller is more of a post-up player). Miller did finish 7-for-11 with 14 points and eight rebounds, but the Yellow Jackets lost 79-57.
Beating the Blue Devils, historically, has not been easy. Beating another ACC team after beating Duke, though, may be the toughest feat of all.
Notre Dame will have a chance to earn a win against the other marquee ACC program, North Carolina, when the Irish host the Tar Heels on Feb. 8. The UNC hangover can be painful, too—just ask N.C. State, to take a small snapshot of a more widespread ocurrance. Updating research my colleague, Joe Giglio, did last year, the Wolfpack are 1-14 in games after wins over UNC or Duke, dating back to the 1992-93 season.