At the time of the first meeting between the Duke Blue Devils and Miami Hurricanes on January 23, Duke was arguably considered the best team in the country. With a No. 1 ranking and a 16-1 overall record, the Blue Devils were sitting firmly at the top of the mountain in college basketball.
And then their early-season success came to an unexpected and overwhelming halt.
Behind a stifling all-around performance, including an astonishing 25-1 run midway through the first half, Miami blitzed Duke by 27 points, 90-63.
The demoralizing loss was the third-worst defeat for a No. 1 team in history and tied for the worst defeat by a Duke team since the infamous 1990 national championship game against UNLV where the Blue Devils fell victim to a 30-point drubbing.
Nevertheless, the Blue Devils quickly returned to playing traditional Duke basketball, winning eight of its last 10 games by an average margin of 14.5 points leading up to the rematch against Miami this Saturday.
The second meeting in Cameron Indoor Stadium should prove to be an instant classic, as the atmosphere will be as electric as it has been all season.
Here are the five most essential keys in order for Duke to avenge its most humiliating loss of the season against Miami in a battle of two top-five teams.