Blue Devils-Demon Deacons: Second-Ranked Duke Loses to Wake Forest

Kieran HaweAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2008

Just in time for the next College Basketball rankings, the second-ranked Duke Blue Devils were upset late last night by the unranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 86-73.

The Demon Deacons (16-8, 6-5), who snapped Duke’s 12-game winning streak, were led by Jeff Teague who scored a game high 26 points and James Johnson who put in 24 points and a game high 16 rebounds.

The Deacons, who played at home and won their third straight game, were not fazed by the heavily favored Blue Devils.

“I watched them on TV and I dreamed about Carolina and Duke,” Teague said “Playing Duke, they’re going to pressure you. That’s why I want to play. I’m not an All-American or nothing, but I want to go out and try to beat one.”

The Blue Devils (22-2, 10-1) had won their previous 12 games by an average of 14.3 points. The Blue Devils' only loss this season was by one point in overtime to the Pittsburgh Panthers. Duke was led by freshman guard Nolan Smith who scored 21 points and senior guard Demarcus Nelson who had 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

In the end it was the Demon Deacons defense that did Duke in, at one point the Blue Devils were held without a field goal for more than seven minutes. But the Blue Devils were also plagued by foul trouble and started the game with a lack of energy.

“Tonight, we played like we’ve already done something, and the team that had to win won,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We have to always play like we have to win. That’s the sign of a champion. That’s a part of learning. We have some young guys who haven’t been champions before, and they’re trying to learn how to be that. Sometimes the best lessons are ones that are taught in defeat.”

The soon-to-drop Blue Devils now head to Miami to try to get their winning ways back, while the Demon Deacons have a tough road trip ahead as they next play the North Carolina Tar Heels.