The Duke Blue Devils have one of the most talented teams in college basketball. There is no getting around that. However, the team is plagued by stupid mistakes, careless playing, and too much arrogance going up against bad teams.
On Saturday, Duke played a team that was supposed to be as good as them, Xavier, but Duke obliterated them, tearing them to shreds and exploiting their weaknesses.
However, a few weeks ago, Duke shot under 30 percent from the field and looked undeserving to be ranked against an amateur and impotent team, Michigan.
Duke has some likely NBA role players, like Kyle Singler, Brian Zoubek, and Jon Scheyer, as well as a certain future NBA star, Gerald Henderson. When playing to their best abilities, the Blue Devils of Duke University play belligerent basketball and make the best possible opponents look like they have never played basketball, just like the Xavier game.
Why does Duke sometimes turn into a helpless team? Each and every player is responsible.
In big games, ones that mean the most, played against ranked opponents, Duke prepares for war.
However, Duke has the most trouble playing against the powerless unranked opponents who would never be given the light of the day by college basketball spectators. This is because the players approach the teams with arrogance, feeling that they have already won the game before it has started. This slight arrogance is what will bring the team down if they get eliminated early once again in the tournament.
The 2007 game against Virginia Commonwealth University was a great example of this. Duke played carelessly and let the VCU Rams get away with dirty play.
So what does Duke need to do to solve their problem of getting beaten by bad teams? They need to play dirty back to any teams that are playing dirty against them, and approach each and every game the same: It is anybody's game.