It was just 10 days ago that Duke played Notre Dame, with the game coming down to the final minute.
That's when Jerian Grant played his best, sinking a floater in the lane off of one foot to beat the shot clock and then, on the ensuing possession, finding a wide-open Steve Vasturia for a corner 3 with two seconds left on the shot clock to seal it for the Fighting Irish.
So the Blue Devils' main takeaway from the 77-73 loss is that they need to
"Finish," Quinn Cook said. "It's a mindset. The attitude that you have. If you go up soft, you won't finish. If you go up hard, which is something that we practice - we practice hard. Guys can finish, we've been doing it the past couple of games."
The No. 4 Blue Devils (19-3, 6-3 ACC) will get another chance against No. 10 Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2) Saturday at 1 p.m.
Cook specifically pointed to Duke's struggles at the free throw line in South Bend (10-for-20) and their inability to finish near the rim (13 offensive rebounds turned into just nine points) as two specific areas for improvement.
"We left a lot of points on the board," he said. "If we finish and hit our free throws, we'll be fine."
Free throws have been a season-long issue for Duke: on the year, the Blue Devils are shooting 68.7 , which is on pace to be the program's worst percentage since the 1999-2000 season. Guys are taking extra free throws shots after practice, Justise Winslow said, and coach Mike Krzyzewski has kept encouraging them to step to the line with confidence.
Duke's offense will need to be running like a well-oiled machine to keep pace with the Fighting Irish, who have the country's second-best field goal percentage (.521) and second-most efficient offense, according to Ken Pomeroy.
"We're running" Winslow said, describing Duke's ideal offensive performance, "We're finding the open guy, we're getting in the lane, making kicks, but at the same time, we're feeding Jahlil (Oakfor) and playing off him."
Notre Dame did not double-team Oakafor in South Bend, accepting the fact that the big man would get his buckets. And he did, scoring 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the floor. But still, the Fighting Irish won the game.
According to Cook, the Blue Devils prefer it when teams opt to single-cover Okafor.
"It allows Jah to be more aggressive," he said. "He is very passive when he gets the double, because he doesn't want to force anything, and he's a great passer. When he sees one-on-one coverage, his eyes light up. And we're a better team. I know he's ready. He felt like he left a lot in South Bend last time we played them. He felt like he could have had a 30 and 20 game.
"We'll still get shots if we move without the ball. A lot of people just stand and watch Jah when they're defending. So, if we cut, we can get some backdoor (lay-ups)."
As for the other ACC player of the year candidate that will be on the floor Saturday - Grant - the Blue Devils also realize that he is going to score points. In the last meeting, he scored a game-high 23 points and recorded a career high 12 assists - meaning Grant was directly involved in 66.2 percent of the Fighting Irish's total points.
"We have to do a better job of defending the ball screen and not letting him get into the middle," Winslow said.
But that "half-court 3," as Cook called it, when Grant let it fly from inside the shamrock at Notre Dame's midcourt, and the fade-away shots like he made in the lane - those are the shots the Blue Devils want him to take.
"Just trying to make him work all 40 minutes," Cook said, summing up the goal.
That's also what Duke will need to do to walk away with a victory.