Three days after a disastrous port o' call in Pickens County, S.C., the Duke Blue Devils were put to the test on Saturday afternoon by the Miami Hurricanes.
The men of coach Mike Krzyzewski overcame many obstacles to win by a score of 78-75 in overtime.
The pride of south Florida roared into Durham led by NBA prospect Jack McClinton. He is a phenominal talent, who can shoot from great distances with above average accuracy.
"Cap'n Jack", as he is called around the U, is obviously the best outside shooter in the ACC, boasting the greatest range. A formidable opponent for any defense.
The ability of McClinton and the fact that Duke opened the game completely flat, led to a 13-point halftime lead for the invaders from Coral Gables, 32-19.
To open the second half the Hurricanes moved out to a 16-point lead at 38-22 and then it happened: the ancient spirit of great champions raised its head and uttered, "Duke never dies".
Throughout the rest of the game the Blue Devils outscored Miami, 56-37.
This was all about heart.
Great heart demonstrated by Gerald Henderson, David McClure, Greg Paulus, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler.
The 6'6" McClure went inside and took the boards away from the bigger Hurricanes, finishing with 13 caroms, while the 6'8" Singler pulled down 10 to go with his 17-point afternoon.
The 6'5" juniors, Henderson and Scheyer, combined for 41-points to anchor the scoring load.
Greg Paulus responded to an opening starting position with his best game of the year, finishing with 18-points and only a single turnover.
Toughness … ready to fight, ready to compete — that is what this year's Duke Team is all about.
The Blue Devils matched the powerful Hurricanes in the rebounding battle and turned Miami over 19 times, while allowing themselves only nine errors of ball handling.
It all came together in the second half.
The Blue Devils notched their 20th win of the season and remain in first place in the ACC.
What a great year it is in the league.
It was suggested on one sports talk radio show, as recently as Wednesday night, that the ACC has five teams capable of winning the national championship.
Now, let's see what Duke does the rest of the season.