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Knocking off the No. 1 team in the country often requires specific and complex scheming. But for his team’s matchup against top-ranked Virginia tonight, head coach John Danowski said that the game plan might be deceptively straightforward.
Duke’s recent struggles in the fourth quarter have been no secret. After holding No. 14 Syracuse (4-4) scoreless for the last 13:41 Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, however, forcing four turnovers and holding the Orange to six shots, the No. 8 Blue Devils (9-3) helped put those concerns behind them.
When Duke and Syracuse last faced off, the Orange held on to win 13-11 in a game that is still fresh in the mind of Duke players.
In their fourth attempt of the season, the Blue Devils finally have a road victory.
Coming off two blowout victories to start the season, Duke hopes to keep rolling against No. 19 Vanderbilt as the Commodores open their season Sunday at 1 p.m. in Nashville.
Duke ended its regular season on a high note over the weekend, racking up a slew of strong individual performances against North Carolina Friday and against Clemson and Richmond Saturday morning.
For the first time this season, Duke got to compete at home, and it did not disappoint. Strong showings in the relay and sprint events as well as wins in three of the four diving events were the highlights Friday night at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion.
After a tough 2-1 loss to North Carolina in the ACC championship, Duke wasted no time preparing for this weekend’s NCAA run. But after a resounding 5-0 victory over Stanford Saturday in the first round of the tournament, the Blue Devils suffered a season-ending 2-1 loss to Old Dominion in the quarterfinals the next day.
Like many other ACC teams, Maryland is facing a year of transitions. The biggest of those will be adjusting to the Terrapins’ first new head coach since Gary Williams took the job in 1989. Replacing Williams is former Texas A&M head coach Mark Turgeon. Turgeon, who worked as an assistant under current North Carolina head coach Roy Williams at Kansas, will look to turn around a Maryland program that has failed to advance past the first weekend in the NCAA tournament since 2003.
When Duke meets Boston College, goals will be especially hard to come by. The Blue Devils have not conceded a goal for 381 minutes, and the Eagles have only given up three goals all season.
When Duke and Wake Forest last met, the Blue Devils derailed the Demon Deacons’ chance to play in the NCAA tournament with a victory in the final game of the regular season. This weekend, the stakes are not quite as high, but after slow starts, both teams need to make up lost ground in the conference standings.
After three consecutive one-goal losses, including two in overtime, Duke rebounded in a big way against Clemson Friday night.
When Duke and Boston College met last year, the Eagles narrowly escaped Wallace Wade Stadium with a 21-16 victory. Led by a stout defense, Boston College ended up losing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and finished the season 7-6.