Mason Plumlee and the Blue Devils pulled out a rare ACC road win at Wake Forest. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
Every Saturday, the News & Observer takes a look around the ACC. That also provides an opportunity to check in with the Blue Devils and look for any emerging trends.
After Duke’s tight win at Wake Forest, head coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked about winning big versus winning close games, and the clearly exasperated coach cut the question off.
“It means the other team probably died. If you won by 20 in this conference it means that the team that lost cooperated,” Krzyzewski said.
There’s no doubt that Duke was cooperative in Miami’s 27-point win last week, as Krzyzewski himself (along with Jay Williams and Dick Vitale) questioned the Blue Devils’ fight. There have been five other wins by 20 or more points this season in the ACC, and none of them have come on the road. Duke has two of those victories—68-40 vs. Clemson and 84-64 vs. Maryland.
There have only been road wins by 10 or more points this year, and the biggest was Virginia’s 74-58 win at Virginia Tech. Road wins, in general, have been rare this year, as home teams are 31-13 in ACC play, but for any team to catch first-place Miami, they are going to be necessary.
“We welcome being on the road,” Krzyzewski said earlier this season. “You’re going to have to play half your games there, so you might as well like it.”