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Georgia Tech 74, Duke 63

It would be a bit dickish of me to say after every Duke loss that everyone should have seen it coming. Not to mention the fact that in this case it isn't true. If there's one team that played to Duke's strengths, it's Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets play at an average pace, don't do much defensively, and win games by shooting well and getting offensive rebounds - they're best in the ACC in both of those categories. Duke's shown this year that all they can do is slow the pace to a crawl, and drastically change their opppoent's shot. Georgia Tech should have been lost and confused, and the Blue Devils should have gotten a nice boost of self-confidence.

That's not exactly what happened. So what's wong with Duke? Is it simply an inability to put the basketball in the basket? That's part of the problem - with their new, slower pace a poor shooting night can kill you. And tonight was abyssmal, going 26 for 59 and an embarassing 4 for 20 behind the arc. They're also a smaller team, and without a Sheldon Williams-type to hoover up the boards, opposing teams can get the easy second chances. The defense is still there, getting 28 turnovers tonight, but teams are only going to become more adept at scoring as the year goes on, and if the Blue Devils don't start improving by leaps and bounds, it will be along season in Durham.

And consequently a postively giddy season in Chapel Hill. Here's to another 1996.