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  1. #1

    Duke Regular Season ACC Title Watch

    This is the first thread I've started, and I expect the haters to come out firing with two takes:

    1. There's no such thing as an ACC regular season title.

    2. Even if there was, the regular season doesn't matter.

    To those points, I say, "I don't care." I don't care what's officially recognized, I don't care that there's a (very slightly) imbalanced schedule, and I don't care that most people will forget the regular season once the tournament starts. I recognize that the NCAA tournament is a far bigger prize, but I think it's crazy that we don't value regular season conference play way more than we do. It's the only mark of sustained excellence in this sport—everything else is a small sample, single-elimination tournament where luck plays a huge factor in success or failure. National titles are wonderful, but even for Duke they're rare, and we should experience more pride and joy over how the team plays in the grueling cauldron of ACC play.

    This will sound pretentious, but I'll risk it—I started following European soccer for the first time this year, and it's opened my eyes to the way we think about success in American sports. We're an enormous country, so playing true round robins in regular season sports used to be impossible, and with the amount of money involved in playoffs across all sports, it makes sense how the systems have evolved and expanded. But it's complete madness that the regular season is seen as nothing more than positioning for the postseason. Winning the league in European soccer is a huge prize, and I wish it was that way here too. Not only does it make more sense, but I really think viewing things that way would make us better fans who are more attuned to the challenges not just of peaking in March, but of grinding out wins on a day-to-day basis.

    All that said, Duke hasn't finished first in the ACC regular season since 2010 (and hasn't had a solo first place since 2006), but this year we have a great chance, and are currently the only undefeated team in the ACC (even better, the joy-killing, soulless, pseudo-basketball machine calling themselves UVA have already lost twice). I think, for the first time in a decade, this team is going to win the conference the hard way. Let's enjoy the ride!
    Host of The Cameron Lazies, a brand new podcast plunging us into the soul of the 2019-20 Duke team.

  2. #2
    First- are you the “real” Shane Ryan?
    Second- is this some sort of double reverse jinx post? 🤣

    Post what you want- DBR will make more. 🙄

  3. #3
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    Hard for me to disagree with anything you said; well-stated.
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    Only tourists but the view is nice"

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  4. #4
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    No problem here -- we have laundry in the rafters of Cameron for regular season titles.
    Sage Grouse

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    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  5. #5
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    No problem here -- we have laundry in the rafters of Cameron for regular season titles.
    100% this. K always talks about the importance of raising banners. Well, we get to raise a banner if we win the regular season title.

    It's worth emphasizing that regular season titles are clearly of non-trivial importance to K. Back in 2010, he had the team cut down the nets in Cameron after securing the regular season title in the rout of UNC to both symbolize its importance and also motivate the team to do some more net cutting. In 2012 in his pre-UNC speech to the Crazies, K again talked about the fact that we'd claim a share of the regular season title with a win (many interpreted his speech as even giving the Crazies tacit approval to storm the court to celebrate such an accomplishment were it to happen, which of course it unfortunately didn't).

    We have been screwed out of the regular season title by tough scheduling at a few points in the past decade. This year, the schedule is in our favor (as I mentioned elsewhere we only play Louisville and FSU once, at home, and only play UVA once, although on the road). It's time we took advantage of that.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    No problem here -- we have laundry in the rafters of Cameron for regular season titles.
    We even hang banners for finishing the regular season ranked #1. That, to me, is at least as big of an accomplishment as winning the conference tournament.

  7. #7
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    I move that this thread be immediately closed for jinxing our team tonight.
    “Coach said no 3s.” - Zion on The Block

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Rosenrosen View Post
    I move that this thread be immediately closed for jinxing our team tonight.
    I'm with you and the team came out and played like they thought first place in the regular season was wrapped up. Our upper class players should make sure this doesn't happen. Alex and Javin were almost invisible. GoDuke!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Rosenrosen View Post
    I move that this thread be immediately closed for jinxing our team tonight.
    It cannot be confirmed as a jinx until the season is over and we didn't win, and in fact closing it may be the real jinx.

    I will issue a preliminary apology for anyone who *feels* jinxed.
    Host of The Cameron Lazies, a brand new podcast plunging us into the soul of the 2019-20 Duke team.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Rosenrosen View Post
    I move that this thread be immediately closed for jinxing our team tonight.
    AGREE...we all know how well that "Bowl Watch" thread came out....
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    status

    Controls path to 1 seed
    Louisville, by virtue of win over duke

    Controls path to a share of the title
    Duke, having the same record as UL

    Eliminated from everything as their best possible record is 10-10
    wake
    miami
    UNC

    Also note that KP projects UL to lose 2 more games, having the following toughies:

    away at clemson (68%)
    away at uva (58%)
    away at FSU (45%)

    Duke's schedule is much more comfortable, with only

    away at NCSU (73%)
    away at UVA (68%)

    in the uncomfortable range. Kp predicts one more loss.

    FSU has the hardest schedule of the bunch:

    away at NCSU (56%)
    home against UL (55%)
    away at clemson (62%)
    away at ND (55%)

    With a projected record of 15-5.


    Given that, it's unlikely FSU will be in the running down the stretch IMO. The polls have consistently overrated them relative to their performances due to their "luck" of games in closer fashion than their record would suggest they should.

    This particular banner is there for the taking. We must take care of business the rest of the way.
    Dear kindly Sergeant Swofford
    You gotta understand
    It's just a class was offered
    every student in the land!
    Our students all are flunkies
    Our teachers all are chumps
    Golly Moses, a total garbage dump!

    Gee, Officer Swofford
    We're down on our knees
    'Cause we don't want to take down such a banner as these
    Gee, Officer Swofford
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    Gee, Officer Swofford
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    Controls path to 1 seed
    Louisville, by virtue of win over duke

    Controls path to a share of the title
    Duke, having the same record as UL

    Eliminated from everything as their best possible record is 10-10
    wake
    miami
    UNC

    Also note that KP projects UL to lose 2 more games, having the following toughies:

    away at clemson (68%)
    away at uva (58%)
    away at FSU (45%)

    Duke's schedule is much more comfortable, with only

    away at NCSU (73%)
    away at UVA (68%)

    in the uncomfortable range. Kp predicts one more loss.

    FSU has the hardest schedule of the bunch:

    away at NCSU (56%)
    home against UL (55%)
    away at clemson (62%)
    away at ND (55%)

    With a projected record of 15-5.


    Given that, it's unlikely FSU will be in the running down the stretch IMO. The polls have consistently overrated them relative to their performances due to their "luck" of games in closer fashion than their record would suggest they should.

    This particular banner is there for the taking. We must take care of business the rest of the way.
    Thanks for posting this, oh_no. Things look good for Duke to claim the best record in the ACC. Still, I am expecting a dog fight at NC State for the same reasons Duke struggled at UNC. That game matters immensely for the State fans and their teams have given Duke a stiff challenge in recent years. For some reason, I am less concerned about UVA even though they are the better team than NC State. Duke and Coach K have a record of success against UVA and has the shooters to counter the pack line defense this year. UVA lacks the firepower on offense. Still, it would not be a surprise to drop that game. The Cavaliers are in need of a signature win, against either or both of Louisville or Duke, to get into the NCAA Tournament.

    Personally, I want Duke to win out for the NCAA Tournament seeding implications rather than the conference record. Duke has had an easy path this year with home games against both Louisville and FSU. It's possible this season could end up with Duke having the best conference record since 2014-15 based on losses and the most conference wins ever thanks to the expanded schedule. But that's more a function of the rest of the league and the schedule of teams we played than a true indicator of how good this team is, in my opinion. What I really hope is that, if Duke runs the table the rest of the regular season, it will result in getting the 1 seed in the East bracket of the NCAA Tournament.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post

    Eliminated from everything as their best possible record is 10-10
    wake
    miami
    UNC
    Are these 3 teams eliminated from the "double bye" in the ACCT yet? Mathematically, UVA sitting in 4th place with the last "double bye" has 8 wins so they could still end at 8-12. However, practically some other team should finish with 11 wins (besides UofL, Duke and FSU).

    Too many possibilities to do the probability calculations.

    I am more interested when these 3 teams (one in particular) is locked into the "no bye" scenario and would have to win 5 games in 5 days to win the ACCT. Considering the unnamed team has only won 4 games in the past 2 and 1/2 months, 5 wins in 5 days seems undoable.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    Are these 3 teams eliminated from the "double bye" in the ACCT yet? Mathematically, UVA sitting in 4th place with the last "double bye" has 8 wins so they could still end at 8-12. However, practically some other team should finish with 11 wins (besides UofL, Duke and FSU).

    Too many possibilities to do the probability calculations.

    I am more interested when these 3 teams (one in particular) is locked into the "no bye" scenario and would have to win 5 games in 5 days to win the ACCT. Considering the unnamed team has only won 4 games in the past 2 and 1/2 months, 5 wins in 5 days seems undoable.
    Remember, Roy does not value the ACC Tournament as much as the regular season (or so he says), so they will not mind getting knocked out early so they can rest for.......NEXT YEAR! BWA HA HA HA!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimsondevil View Post
    Interesting, but other than the FSU game, UL and Duke have pretty similar remaining schedules. If UL wins @FSU, they're likely to be the #1 in the ACCT, with all the mythical/non-mythical/technically/technically-not honors that come with it.

    We have to take care of business, regardless, for NCAA purposes.
    UL has 3 games as hard as or harder than duke's hardest remaining game.


    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    Considering the unnamed team has only won 4 games in the past 2 and 1/2 months, 5 wins in 5 days seems undoable.
    2011 uconn had lost 4/5 and was 9-9 in conference, and had won 4 games since the middle of january. Obviously that uconn team was a lot stronger than this unnamed team...and the big east that year was far stronger than the ACC this year, but it's never undoable.
    Dear kindly Sergeant Swofford
    You gotta understand
    It's just a class was offered
    every student in the land!
    Our students all are flunkies
    Our teachers all are chumps
    Golly Moses, a total garbage dump!

    Gee, Officer Swofford
    We're down on our knees
    'Cause we don't want to take down such a banner as these
    Gee, Officer Swofford
    What are we to do?
    Gee, Officer Swofford
    Swoff you!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    I am more interested when these 3 teams (one in particular) is locked into the "no bye" scenario and would have to win 5 games in 5 days to win the ACCT. Considering the unnamed team has only won 4 games in the past 2 and 1/2 months, 5 wins in 5 days seems undoable.
    There’s an interesting wrench that could come into play here. Georgia Tech is appealing a postseason ban and while there is unlikely to be a final decision before the season ends, GT has a ton of juniors and they aren’t exactly heading towards a postseason bid this year. If GT has the appeal denied and is banned next season, you could see a potential exodus as all of those juniors would be allowed to transfer freely. Every day that goes by makes it less likely that GT will go this route. For comparison Syracuse and Louisville both self-imposed bans in early February when they went through it, and those teams were also preempting the original NCAA punishment, not dropping an appeal. But if GT does drop the appeal, that lowers the bar significantly as you only need to finish 10th out of non GT teams rather than 9th overall.

    As far as the actual purpose of this thread, I won’t start to take stock of Duke’s chances for winning until after the next two. Tomorrow has the hallmarks of a letdown game after the emotional win last weekend and tough turnaround win. And then midweek, Duke has to go to Raleigh, where they’re only 2-4 vs State since 2010, and the wins were not by the teams you’d expect. They won in 2011 with no Kyrie and 2016, and lost in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2018. If Duke can buck that trend, I think there’s a real shot for hanging a regular season banner.
    Pratt '09
    GO DUKE!

  17. #17
    I was about to come here and say "I believe it's time to bring this thread back to the top," but glad to see it already happened yesterday. However, things have changed a bunch in just a day, Duke now controls its own destiny with a one-game lead in the loss column on both Louisville and FSU, and has an easier schedule than both. At this point, the odds favor us completely. It's been a decade since we had a share of the title and 14 years since we won one outright, and I for one am psyched for all the reasons mentioned above.
    Host of The Cameron Lazies, a brand new podcast plunging us into the soul of the 2019-20 Duke team.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneRyan View Post
    I was about to come here and say "I believe it's time to bring this thread back to the top," but glad to see it already happened yesterday. However, things have changed a bunch in just a day, Duke now controls its own destiny with a one-game lead in the loss column on both Louisville and FSU, and has an easier schedule than both. At this point, the odds favor us completely. It's been a decade since we had a share of the title and 14 years since we won one outright, and I for one am psyched for all the reasons mentioned above.
    What are the chances NCSU gets us once in the next month?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    What are the chances NCSU gets us once in the next month?
    I'll put myself out there so everyone can get mad if I jinx it: I think people are a little too wrapped up in history on this one. We match up well, and I think we're peaking just in time for the road game, which should be the hardest by far. I like us to win both. I'm also not worried about our "difficult" game against Virginia, I don't think they have a prayer to enforce their style on us, we'll be happy to out-D them. Only game that scares me is Carolina at home.
    Host of The Cameron Lazies, a brand new podcast plunging us into the soul of the 2019-20 Duke team.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneRyan View Post
    I'll put myself out there so everyone can get mad if I jinx it: I think people are a little too wrapped up in history on this one. We match up well, and I think we're peaking just in time for the road game, which should be the hardest by far. I like us to win both. I'm also not worried about our "difficult" game against Virginia, I don't think they have a prayer to enforce their style on us, we'll be happy to out-D them. Only game that scares me is Carolina at home.
    I think matchup-wise, this is tougher than it looks on paper. Duke’s biggest weakness has been turnovers and transition D. One of the big things that helped today was ND not being a team that forces turnovers and not being a team that pushes the ball. State does both. They had 21 fast break points against Syracuse this week and that was with Cuse doing a decent job not giving up steals. State only got 7 steals in the game, but got 21 fast break points. You don’t need to turn it over out at the point for them to get fast break points.
    Pratt '09
    GO DUKE!

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