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State Breaks Duke Winning Streak, 78-74

H-S | H-S
| H-S | W-S
| San
| San
| Box
| Game

We're not terribly disappointed by the loss to State because honestly by the
time the Virginia game was over, it was pretty clear to us that winning at State
was going to be a long shot, at best. We didn't want to come out and say
that, because people around the program read this site, and we didn't want to
contribute any negativity, but we were pretty sure that's what was going to

We say that because after realizing that Duke would be playing with two hip
pointers (Deng and Williams), two guys recovering from a virus (Duhon and Ewing)
and two guys on the bench who hurt their ankles recently, well, there's a limit
to what you can do under those circumstances. Add to that Jim Valvano's
theory about cause games, and State's burgeoning confidence, and there's no
doubt they had just about every advantage.

The one key advantage Duke did bring to this game was the heart of a
champion, which you saw at the end. They never could quite get over the hump,
but they'd cut the lead down to three, or at the very end two, and then wouldn't
have enough left to finish.

But the heart was there, and that's the encouraging thing. Everything
else belonged to State on this night, and State was superb.

The Pack shot 52% from the floor, 83% from the line, outrebounded Duke,
despite being a small team, and basically just outplayed Duke in almost every

At the end, it was very nearly a shocking comeback, with Duke cutting the
lead all the way down to two, but there wasn't enough there there to finish

As we said, we were pretty sure this was going to happen, so we're not
distraught about it. Our guys really did their best in a very difficult
situation, and now it's time to move on to Wake Forest, which could well be
another difficult situation.
The Deacs had lost some confidence during their losing skid, but likely got some
of it back Sunday against Cincinnati, as the the Demon Deacons stormed back with
a 20-3 run late and upset the Bearcats. One of the players - Chris Paul? -
said it would give them confidence for this week, meaning, of course, Duke's
visit to Lawrence Joel.

But that's to come. For now, while we're sorry Duke lost, we are happy for
Herb Sendek, who maybe now can get a little love from State fans. We've
complained at times about his wussy schedule-making, but the guy is doing a
wonderful job and knocking off #1 is obviously a feather in his cap.

We also think it's a plus for State fans to have something to celebrate
besides that awful oblong ball Chuck Amato likes to toss around. Just kidding.

But in all seriousness, we're proud of this team. It would have been
easy to just given up, but they fought back under difficult circumstances and
made it a real game. It's a snowy time here in North Carolina, so we'll
get out our Duke stuff Monday and wear it around, and we hope you will as well.