Seth Curry never found his shot against the Hurricanes, and he finished with zero points. That's not a recipe for success. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
CORAL GABLES, Fla.—How did that happen?
Duke rarely loses regular season games by more than 20 points—it’s actually only happened eight times while Mike Krzyzewski has been at the helm. On Wednesday, >No. 1 Duke lost by 27 at No. 25 Miami, 90-63. There’s a link to the game story here, and I also shared a few other postgame thoughts here.
As I said in the story, the reason for the loss was simple: Miami hit a lot of shots. Duke didn’t. On a basic level, the Hurricanes shot 56.9 percent from the floor, a season-high for a Duke opponent. Their shooting performance reminded me of another head scratching Duke loss, Jan. 20, 2010, when an unranked N.C. State shot 58.2 percent in an 88-74 triumph.
A look at the advanced stats reveals even more of a disparity. Miami’s effective field goal percentage—a measure that gives 50 percent more credit for 3-pointers since they account for more points—was 64.7 percent, virtually double Duke’s 32.4 percent (the Blue Devils shot a season-low 29.7 percent from the field and 17.4 percent from deep). The Hurricanes also did a much better job getting to the free throw line, which, in theory, leads to more points. Even though Duke did hold a slight edge in the two other “four factors to winning,” (see the chart below) Miami’s shooting was so superior that it was irrelevant. And, naturally, a team as more chances at offensive rebounds when it misses more shots.