In its 1995-1996 season, Duke opened up its conference schedule by going 0-4 over a span of 10 days, losing to Georgia Tech and Wake Forest at home and Clemson and Virginia on the road.
Similar to this year's team, the Blue Devils of 11 years ago were defined by their youth and inexperience. Duke had only one senior who clocked significant playing time-Chris Collins-and played a seven-man rotation consisting of mostly underclassmen, including sophomore Steve Wojciechowski.
Unlike this year's squad, however, the 1995-1996 Blue Devils were the first Krzyzewski team to have to come off a losing season since 1983. In their first three losses of 1996, the Blue Devils were unable to close out opponents after taking leads of at least 12 points into halftime of each contest. Despite its early season miscues, the 1995-1996 team was able to fight back to .500 in the ACC by racking up eight victories in its last 12 games-finishing fourth in the conference and earning an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Although it was knocked out in the first round that year by Eastern Michigan, Duke used the 1995-1996 season to begin its rebuilding process in the wake of the success of the early nineties. The following year, the Blue Devils won the ACC and by 1998 they advanced to the Elite Eight.
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