Through over a century of history and almost forty years under one head coach, the trends behind Duke’s men’s basketball program are rich enough for someone to dive into for hours and hours on end. I’ve done the digging through that history to find thirteen bits that range from superstitious to the utter domination of the Blue Devils under Mike Krzyzewski. Let’s take a look:
1. During Krzyzewski’s tenure, there have only been three players to play multiple years at Duke and start every single game that they played in: Jason Williams, Johnny Dawkins, and Tommy Amaker.
2. In every year that Duke won an NCAA Championship, it beat the St. John’s Red Storm at some point during the season.
3. Similar to No. 2, In every year that Duke has won an NCAA Championship, they beat their archrival North Carolina at least two times during the regular and postseasons combined.
4. In the past 22 seasons of Duke basketball, only four times have they played an NCAA Tournament game as the lower seed. The Blue Devils lost all four games—Kansas in 2003, Louisville in 2013, Oregon in 2016, Kansas in 2018.
5. In the past nine seasons, Duke has played eight road games that CBS broadcasted. The Blue Devils lost all eight games.
6. Duke has had a player picked in the top three of the NBA Draft for five consecutive seasons. No other program has accomplished that in NCAA history.
7. Since 2007, when ESPN started to rank high school prospects, Duke has signed a top four player in nine out of their twelve recruiting classes.
8. Duke is a mediocre 5-6 in the NCAA Championship Game, but an impressive 11-5 in their semifinal matchup.
9. Since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979, Duke has been to the tournament 35 times, and received a top three seed in all but five of those seasons.
10. From 1998 through 2006, Duke received a #1 seed in eight out of the nine seasons.
11. The last Blue Devil squad to go undefeated in ACC play was the 1998-99 team that rattled off 32 wins before losing in the NCAA Championship game to Connecticut.
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12. The 2011-12 team carried the weight of a 45-game home winning streak, but seemed to prefer the road more than Cameron, going 8-0 in away conference games and just 5-3 in ACC matchups at home.