Can Duke Go Undefeated?

by November 24, 2010

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Last night’s dominating 82-68 win over No. 4 Kansas State for No. 1 Duke confirmed what many already suspected: The Blue Devils are really, really good.

Already, this year’s squad looks even better than the one that won the national title last year. Kyrie Irving has flawlessly transitioned to the college level, Mason Plumlee and Andre Dawkins have taken the next step in their sophomore seasons and Seth Curry is making his case for the nation’s best Sixth Man. Returning seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith aren’t too bad either.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team is far and away looking like the country’s best right now, and although it’s only November, it is time to start bringing up the possibility of an undefeated season.

Aside from great talent, the Blue Devils schedule also works in their favor. Home games against No. 2 Michigan State (who are sure to drop after a loss to unranked UConn) and No. 21 Temple are the only ranked opponents left on Duke’s non-conference schedule.

Meanwhile, the ACC looks poised for a down year. No. 25 North Carolina is the only other team ranked, and Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest have already lost to mid-major opponents. Virgina Tech, the preseason pick to finish second in the conference, lost by 16 to the same Kansas State team Duke just dismantled.

After being on the other end of Tuesday’s loss, count Kansas State Head Coach Frank Martin as one of those who believes Duke is a special team.

From The Topeka Capital-Journal:

“They knocked the living (heck) out of us,” coach Frank Martin said. “If there’s one better than them, I don’t want to play them.”

The Blue Devils might just be 5-0, but they look like one of the elite teams in recent memory. So it’s time to start the undefeated talk because last night’s performance suggests it’s no longer enough to say Duke is just good. This team could be something more than that.