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Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 79-76 win vs. Miami

"Unconscious" was the word Miami head coach Jim Larranaga used to describe Duke's Ryan Kelly, who scored a career-high 36 points in Duke's win. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—Excuse the delay, folks—I'm been working on a story for senior day—but, if you missed any of it, here are a few links to our postgame coverage of Duke's 79-76 win over Miami

The main game story, which focuses on the incredible performance of Ryan Kelly, who posed a career-high 36 points coming off of his right foot injury, limiting him to a grand total of 20 minutes before taking the floor.

• In the immediate aftermath of the game, the Blue Devils were dreaming big about what Kelly's return means for their potential.

• And from Andrew Carter, a closer look at just how close Miami came in the closing seconds.

And here's one more thought:

There were times, Ryan Kelly said after the game, that he doubted he would return from the foot injury that had sidelined him since Jan. 8. But he worked diligently with Duke trainers Jose Fonseca and Nicholas Potter, maintaing cardiovascular shape by running on an underwater treadmill. Kelly also focused on strengthening the rest of his body so that when his foot was finally ready, the rest of him would be, too.

Game Preview: Duke vs. Miami

Shane Larkin is, in Dick Vitale's eyes, the frontrunner for ACC Player of the Year. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke vs Miami
6:10 p.m.
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
TV/Radio: ESPN/WKIX-102.9 FM
And? A Ryan Kelly return is quite possible.

Projected starting lineups:

No. 3 Duke (24-4, 11-4 in the ACC)
G Quinn Cook, So., 12.4 ppg, 5.4 apg
G Seth Curry, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Fr., 12.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Josh Hairston, Jr., 2.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
F Mason Plumlee, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg

No. 5 Miami (23-4, 14-1)
G Shane Larkin, So., 13.4 ppg, 4.3 apg
G Durand Scott, Sr., 13.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
G Trey McKinney Jones, r-Sr., 9.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F/C Kenny Kadji, Jr, r-Sr., 13.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg
F/C Julian Gamble, r-Sr., 6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Player to watch:

Ryan Kelly, Duke

A look at Duke's No. 5 ranking in the AP Poll

Duke fell just four spots after taking a beating at Miami and giving one to Maryland. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

The voters didn't judge Duke too harshly for what happened in Miami.

After losing by 27 at Miami and beating Maryland by 20 at home, Duke was ranked No. 5 in the latest AP poll. Michigan is the new No. 1 team, followed by Kansas, Indiana and Florida. The Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for 106 straight weeks, dating back to Nov. 2007. The record is 155 weeks by UCLA from 1966-1976.

Duke (17-2, 4-2 in the ACC) was ranked anywhere between No. 3 and No. 13 on the 65 AP ballots. Four voters had the Blue Devils at No. 3—Kevin Dunleavy of the The Washington (Va.) Examiner, Roger Clarkson of the The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, Ryan Thorburn of the Daily (Col.) Camera and Ryan Wood of the Opelika-Auburn (Ala.) News.

Two voters—Tom Keegan of the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal World and Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated—had Duke out of the top 10. Keegan had them at No. 11 and Davis at No. 13.

The anatomy of a blowout: a closer look at Duke's loss at Miami

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.

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 90-63 loss at Miami

The Blue Devils can only count down the minutes until the game's end in a blowout loss to Miami. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

CORAL GABLES, Fla.—A few more thoughts and notes from Duke's historic loss at Miami:

***Duke’s loss was the third worst for a No. 1-ranked team and the worst in 45 years. ULCA beat No. 1 Houston by 32 points in 1968, and Kentucky beat No. 1 St. Johns by 41 in 1951. In those respective years, UCLA went on to win the championship, and Kentucky ended the season ranked No. 1.

***The Duke coaches never screamed or stomped their feet on the sideline. They spent most of the game seated. Mike Krzyzewski did get up to tell Mason Plumlee to dunk to ball early in the second half and later appealed to referee Karl Hess, “We’re losing by 30 points, give us some free throws,” after contact was ignored under the basket. But mostly, they just sat and watched. There wasn’t much to say as the shots—most of them coming off of good looks—continued to miss.

Resurgent Hurricanes swamp No. 1 Blue Devils, 90-63

Duke was thoroughly beaten—in every sense of the word—at Miami. All Mike Krzyzewski could do was watch. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

CORAL GABLES, Fla.—Throughout the Mike Krzyzewski era, Duke has routinely routed teams, going on game-sealing runs so fast that the opponent was left wondering how it happened.

Wednesday night, Duke was on the receiving end of one of those head-scratching runs, as the No. 1 Blue Devils lost 90-63 at No. 25 Miami.

It was the Blue Devils’ worst regular season loss since Feb. 4, 2009, when they also lost by 27 points to then-No. 10 Clemson, 74-47. Before that, it was Jan. 18, 1984, when then-No. 12 Wake Forest won by 31 points, 97-66.

“Not much to say after that,” Krzyzewski said. “They were men, we were boys for 40 minutes, and the score and performance reflected that disparity. They were terrific, and we did not hold up our end of the bargain tonight.”

Game Preview: Duke at Miami

There will be plenty of big men for Duke to attempt to slow in Miami. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke at Miami
7:00 p.m.
Where: BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Fla.
TV/Radio: ESPN/WKIX-102.9 FM
Compelling preview: Miami has plenty of what Mike Krzyzewski considers the most valuable asset in college basketball.

Projected starting lineups:

No. 1 Duke (16-1, 3-1 in the ACC)
G Quinn Cook, So., 11.5 ppg, 6.1 apg
G Seth Curry, Sr., 16.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Fr., 11.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
F Josh Hairston, Jr., 1.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg
F Mason Plumlee, Sr., 17.4 ppg, 11.5 rpg

No. 25 Miami (13-3, 4-0)
G Shane Larkin, So., 12.2 ppg, 3.9 apg
G Durand Scott, Sr., 13.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
G Trey McKinney Jones, r-Sr., 9.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
F/C Kenny Kadji, Jr, r-Sr., 12.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg
F/C Julian Gamble, r-Sr., 6.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Player to watch:

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